Change the future of migration: Invest in food security and rural development
16/10/2017 - 09:53
Today marks World Food Day, dedicated to tackling global hunger. Held annually on 16 October, people around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate worldwide hunger.
World Food Day which commemorates the founding of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945, promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. The FAO works closely with the European Union. The two share a multitude of partnerships spanning many years with the common goal of eliminating extreme poverty and hunger around the world.
In fact World Food Day presents an opportunity to highlight the European Union's role as one of the world's largest providers of humanitarian food assistance, the European Commission alone having provided nearly €750 million in humanitarian funding for food assistance in 2016.
Undernutrition is the root cause of nearly half of all deaths in children under 5. The EU and its humanitarian partners around the world are working to change that. Funding from the EU allocated to nutrition programming has increased significantly in the past decade. This money provides most of the specialized food product (ready-to-use therapeutic food) used for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition. In-house nutrition expertise has also been reinforced in the past years.
This year's World Food Day theme is "Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development". More people have been forced to flee their homes than at any time since the Second World War due to increased conflict and political instability. But hunger, poverty, and an increase in extreme weather events linked to climate change are other important factors contributing to the migration challenge. Many migrants come from rural areas where three quarters of the extreme poor survive on agriculture or other rural activities. Thus the drivers and impacts of migration are intimately linked to FAO’s global goals of fighting hunger and achieving food security, reducing rural poverty and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources. Migration can contribute to economic growth and improve food security and rural livelihoods, thus advancing countries’ progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
“World Food Day is a chance to show our commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – to achieve #ZeroHunger by 2030” - FAO.
In 2012 the EU launched the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) which aims to foster a competitive and sustainable farming and forestry that 'achieves more and better from less'. Innovation in agriculture is essential to be able to feed the growing world population. EIP-AGRI contributes to ensuring a steady supply of food, feed and biomaterials, developing its work in harmony with the essential natural resources on which farming depends.
Participate in the World Food Day Contest
How do you think food security and rural development can change the future of migration? The FAO calls on children and teens to design a poster or produce a video on this year’s World Food Day theme to enter the 2017 competition. The deadline for entries is 10 November 2017.