World Food Day (16th October) is celebrated world-wide to commemorate the foundation of WHO, the United Nations Organisation for food and agriculture. The WHO was, in fact, established in Quebec, on October 16th 1945.
Every year this day raises a different theme: in 2016 the message was “The climate is changing. Food and Agriculture must too”. A message that underlines how closely food security is tied to environmental challenges and climate change. The poorest areas of the world, in fact, where the major part of the population gains sustenance through agriculture, fishing and semi-nomadic livestock rearing, are also the hardest hit by climatic disasters and rising temperatures.
In 2016, and not by chance, the day was celebrated in conjunction with the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 22), which was held in Morocco, at Marrakesh, in November. An important occasion for encouraging the countries to include the nutritional and agricultural challenges within their policies on climate change, investing more resources in rural development.
The primary objective of World Food Day is to raise public awareness on the problems related to hunger in the world and food waste. We must remember that every year over 1/3 of food produced worldwide – 1,3 billion tons of edible food – ends up in the dustbin. Furthermore this day stresses the role of women in poor countries concerning economic and, in particular, agricultural development: a major involvement in decision making and a higher level of inclusion of women could guarantee better living conditions and sustenance for the whole society.