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16-Oct-2020 00:04:31
Today's World Food Day marks the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. FAO

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1.World Food Day video spot
2.SOUNDBITE ( English ) Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General:
“We must work together relentlessly with all partners (UN sister entities, governments, the private sector, NGOs and academia), in pursuit of one of humankind’s most noble objectives, which is also FAO’s reason for existence - ending hunger and malnutrition everywhere. The scourge of hunger has been tormenting humankind for millennia. But we are the generation that can end it, once and for all. Let mission accomplished! “
3.SOUNDBITE ( Spanish ) Pope Francis:
“For humanity hunger is not only a tragedy but a shame. For the most part, it is caused by an unequal distribution of the fruits of the earth, to which is added the lack of investment in the agricultural sector, the consequences of climate change and the increase in conflicts in different areas of the planet. On the other hand, tonnes of food is thrown away. Faced with this reality, we cannot remain insensitive or paralyzed. We are all responsible.”
4.SOUNDBITE ( Italian ) Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s President:
“We are all called to pursue together, with coherence and determination, attitudes that contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.I greet in particular the commitment of FAO and its Director General, Qu Dongyu, who together with Italy, and numerous other countries, have wished to create a "coalition for food", with the aim also of containing the effects of Covid-19 on food systems.
5.SOUNDBITE ( English ) António Guterres , UN’s Secretary-General:
“ As we mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization, we need to intensify our effort to achieve the vision of Sustainable Development Goals. It means a future where everyone, everywhere has access the nutrition they need. Next year I will convene a food system submit to inspire action towards these visions. We need to make food system more resistant to volatility of climate shocks. We need to ensure sustainable and healthy diet for all and to minimise food waste. And we need food system to provide safe livelihood for workers.”
6.SOUNDBITE ( English) Gilbert F. Houngbo, the president of International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD):
“Despite the challenge they ( small-scale farmers) face, they produce more than half of the calories we consume. And today with COVID related travel restriction interrupting food trade and upsetting the logistics, the role of small-scale producers is even more prominent”
7.SOUNDBITE ( English) David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP):
“I do believe while we are working on the humanitarian crisis we are facing in the next 12-18 months, we must continue to work on the system to ensure we do end hunger by 2030, but as long as we have manmade conflicts, we will never end hunger, it’s critical that we end the war, it’s critical we respond to climate extreme, but I do believe if we strengthen the fragile government out there, do the things we know we have the expertise to do, I believe we will be celebrating World Food Day in a way we would never done before because hunger would be ended. But it will take the men and the women, cities together right now with the spirit to move forward to do.”
8.SOUNDBITE ( Spanish ) Queen Letizia of Spain:
“These imbalances should make us think how to strengthen food systems, seeking shorter marketing circuits to promote local, seasonal and scall-scale production, a strategy that would also make life easier for many women in regions of the planet where their vulnerability is extreme.”


The World Food Day marks the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Born on the wake of catastrophe – World War II, three-quarters of a century later, FAO’s mission to end hunger and nourish the world has been made more relevant because of another global scourge – the COVID-19 pandemic, said QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General.

Qu spoke today (16 Oct) at FAO’s global 75th Anniversary/World Food Day event, held in Rome, which brought together Pope Francis, UN’s Secretary General, Italy’s President, FAO Special Goodwill Ambassadors for Nutrition, and the heads of the Rome-based UN food agencies.

World Food Day is marked this year as global hunger rises for the fifth consecutive year and a healthy diet is out of the reach of 3 million people. The pandemic could tip millions more into hunger by the end of 2020.

With the theme “Grow, nourish, sustain. Together,” this year’s World Food Day aims to galvanize and accelerate action towards ending hunger and malnutrition in all its forms, and to make food and agriculture an essential part of the COVID-19 response.

Chief amongst them, as speakers at today’s event noted, are global solidarity and building more resilient, robust agri-food systems that can withstand shocks, deliver affordable and sustainable healthy diets for all, and decent livelihoods for all workers along the food supply chain.

Pope Francis urged for more support for FAO’s and all UN food agencies’ initiatives that encourage sustainable and diversified agriculture, and support small farming communities and the rural development of the poorest countries.

His words were echoed by UN’s Secretary-General António Guterres who called for intensified efforts to achieve the vision of Sustainable Development Goals - “a future where everyone everywhere has access to the nutrition they need”.

To inspire action towards this vision, Guterrez said, he will convene a Food Systems Summit next year.

Noting that his country was proud to host FAO’s headquarters, Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella said he welcomed FAO’s and its Director-General’s “commitment to work with Italy and many other countries in forging a “food coalition” aimed at limiting the effects of COVID-19 on food systems”.

This is the moment of “decisive choices”, and of “a serious global commitment,” concluded Mattarella who expressed hope for the international community to rediscover a “profound sense of the precious bounty the earth offers” and the “responsibility to share and safeguard it for future generations”.

FAO Goodwill Ambassadors for Nutrition, King Letsie III of Lesotho and Queen Letizia of Spain stressed that healthy diets was everyone’s right.

King Letsie III underlined that most of the people who cannot afford a healthy diet live in Africa and Asia, and called for concerted efforts to bring down the cost of nutritious foods so more people can afford them.

Highlighting that hundreds of millions go hungry whilst many more suffer from obesity, Queen Letizia said:“These imbalances should make us think how to strengthen food systems, seeking shorter marketing circuits to promote local, seasonal and scall-scale production, a strategy that would also make life easier for many women in regions of the planet where their vulnerability is extreme.”

WFP was last week awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for Peace, which many speakers today lauded as a recognition of hunger as a threat to peace and the need for the international community to turn its attention to addressing food insecurity.

This renewed sense of commitment and action today is all the more important as new research published on world food week offers hope that ending hunger by 2030 is still possible.

A coalition of research groups, including FAO, said in a call-to-action on Monday that we could end hunger by 2030 if donors double their investments and spend the money wisely.

FAO is working with partners and communities around the world to make the goal of Zero Hunger a reality. This includes supporting the development and sharing of innovation in sustainable agriculture and improving access to digital tools, improving social protection schemes, and providing the latest data and policy advice to help countries make agricultural practices more sustainable.

This year’s World Food Day also honours all food heroes, who - no matter what - continue to provide food to their communities and beyond.

Today, FAO and its partners are urging everyone to show gratitude for the food we eat and the people who produce, plant, harvest, fish or transport it.

Events in over 150 countries, including Rome’s Colosseum serving as a stunning backdrop for an FAO video mapping show this evening, mark World Food Day and celebrate the world’s food heroes and FAO’s anniversary.
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