October 16th is World Food Day, a celebration of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The goal of World Food Day is to improve awareness of hunger worldwide, and encourage action by those who can help. According to the FAO:
- The world produces enough food to feed everyone, yet, about 800 million people suffer from hunger. That is one in nine people. 60% of them are women.
- About 80% of the world’s extreme poor live in rural areas. Most of them depend on agriculture.
- Hunger kills more people every year than malaria, tuberculosis and aids combined.
- Around 45% of infant deaths are related to malnutrition.
- The cost of malnutrition to the global economy is the equivalent of USD 3.5 trillion a year.
- 1.9 billion people – more than a quarter of the world’s population – are overweight.
- One third of the food produced worldwide is lost or wasted.
- The world will need to produce 60 percent more food by 2050 to feed a growing population.
- No other sector is more sensitive to climate change than agriculture.
- FAO works mainly in rural areas, in 130 countries. We work with governments, civil society, the private sector and other partners to achieve #ZeroHunger.
Eliminating hunger is a global effort which can be helped by individuals, communities, and businesses alike. Reducing household food waste, finding innovative ways to deliver nutrition to hungry populations, and improving security of food systems in rural areas are all examples of actions that can help the cause. For more information on reducing world hunger, check out our white paper Eradicating World Hunger: A Community-based Approach. You can also read more on the FAO website.