The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is commemorated annually on 17 October and it aims to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, particularly in developing countries. Its commemoration each year demonstrates how we can achieve greater participation by enabling young people from all walks of life to come together to respect the human rights and dignity of people living in poverty. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have pushed between 143 and 163 million people into poverty in 2021.
In a world characterised by an unprecedented level of economic development, technological means and financial resources, that millions of persons are living in extreme poverty is a moral outrage. Poverty is not solely an economic issue, but rather a multidimensional phenomenon that encompasses a lack of both income and the basic capabilities to live in dignity. Persons living in poverty experience many interrelated and mutually reinforcing deprivations that prevent them from realising their rights and perpetuate their poverty, including: dangerous work conditions, unsafe housing, lack of nutritious food, unequal access to justice, lack of political power, and limited access to health care.
The World Food Day is celebrated on 16 October and it promotes global awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all. This annual celebration raises awareness of the crucial need for successful agriculture policies that should be implemented by governments across the world in order to ensure ample food availability for everyone.
Every time we eat, we participate in the system. Hence, achieving Zero Hunger is not only about addressing hunger, but also nourishing people, while nurturing the planet. The theme of the World Food Day 2021 is “Our actions are our future: Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life”. It calls for action across sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone. At the same time, it calls on everyone to start making food systems more resilient and robust for everyone.
The International Day for Disaster Reduction is held annually on 13 October, and the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. This day was initiated on 1989, after a call by the United Nations’ General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk awareness and disaster reduction.
Disaster reduction is the conception and practice of reducing disaster risks through efficient efforts to analyse and reduce the causal factors of disasters. Reducing exposure to hazards, lessening vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improving preparedness and early warning for adverse events are all examples of disaster reduction.
Since 1992, the World Mental Health Day is observed annually on 10 October with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health. This day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide. Given past experience of emergencies, it is expected that the need for mental health and psychosocial support will substantially increase in the coming months and years.
Every year one adult in four, along with one child in ten, will have a mental health issue. These conditions can profoundly affect literally millions of lives, affecting the capability of these individuals to make it through the day, to sustain relationships, and to maintain work. Due to the health, economic, and social issues, millions of people are facing mental health issues, and many of them are experiencing even greater social isolation than before.
This year the World Habitat Day falls on 4 October. In 1985 the United Nations designated the first Monday of October to commemorate the World Habitat Day. The idea is to reflect on the state of the towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.
An estimated 1.8 billion people were already living in slums and informal settlements, inadequate housing or in homelessness in our cities worldwide before the pandemic began. Some 3 billion people lack basic hand-washing facilities. This means millions of people worldwide are more likely to experience poor health due to the absence of basic services and exposure to multiple socio-economic and environmental hazards.