The 16th of October is celebrated annually as World Food Day. The day is a call to action against hunger. First observed in 1979, the World Food Day celebrates the creation of Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations on October 16, 1945 in Quebec, Canada and since then, the day has been celebrated around the world by a slew of people who comes together to declare their commitment towards the eradication of hunger. As a global goal, to be collectively achieved; the World Food Day has a target of 15 years to end hunger for every child, woman and man around the world.
According to World Food Programme report; 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to live a healthy active life and majority of them live in developing countries. 12.9 percent of these populations are malnourished. WFP report shows that Asia is the continent with the most hungry people. In Sub– Saharan Africa, one of four is undernourished. 45% of deaths in children under age five are caused by poor nutrition. Approximately 3.1 million children each year; roughly 100 million children in the developing countries are underweight. One in four of the children in the world are stunted.
Is the World Food Day worth marking? A question many would want to ask. Well, my answer is “Absolutely”. Speaking to Harry Hin Lai Ching, a chaplain of St. Marks Famagusta Student chaple who was not aware of the day until this interview said, “Since a lot of food is being thrown away and wasted every day, this day is important because we need to start considering the hungry people, it will do a lot of good”. He added that, “The farming system should be improved”. Following WFO’s hunger statistics, Harry Hin Lai Ching assertion is actually right. The report points that if women farmers had the same resources as men, the number of hungry people in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million.
Interestingly, a slew of people aren’t aware that a day like this exists. Most of the people we approached to ask of the their take on World Food Day accedes that days like this should be observed by agriculturist. Report shows that 66 million primary school- age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 22 million in Africa alone. WFP calculates that US$ 3.2 billion is needed per year to reach all 66 million hungry school children. As part of the Human Right Decree, every one has the right to eat.
We enjoin all and sundry to take this day seriously and lets all join the world in the campaign against hunger.
By Sheena Munbang