The right to food is a basic human right. Investing in sustainable food systems and rural development means addressing some of the major global challenges from feeding the world’s growing population to protecting the global climate, and tackling some of the root causes of migration and displacement. Achieving the 17 SDGs cannot happen without ending hunger, and without having sustainable and resilient, climate-compatible agriculture and food systems that deliver for the people and the planet.
World Food Day (WFD) is a day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger. It is celebrated on the 16th of October. The day is observed every year around the world in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. It is also the Food Engineer day and has been observed in more than 150 countries, raising awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger.
There are an estimated 842 million hungry people on the planet, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). This means that one in eight people in the world suffer from chronic hunger, not having enough food for an active and healthy life. Plus the number of people on the planet is increasing rapidly. Production of basic staple foods will need to increase by 60 percent to meet the expected growth in demand.
At the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), we highlight areas needed for action and contribute in the recommendation for the eradication of Hunger and Poverty in accordance with the common focus stipulated by the United Nations. We believe rural development can address factors that compel people to move by creating business opportunities and jobs for young people that are not only crop-based (such as small dairy or poultry production, food processing or horticulture enterprises). It can also lead to increased food security, more resilient livelihoods, better access to social protection, and reduced conflict over natural resources and solutions to environmental degradation and climate change.
By investing in rural development, the international community can also harness migration’s potential to support development and build the resilience of displaced and host communities, thereby laying the ground for long-term recovery and inclusive and sustainable growth.