The economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic on global monetary show a real challenge to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of ending poverty by 2030. 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.
This year marks the 27th Anniversary of the declaration by the United Nations’ General Assembly, in its resolution 47/196 of 22 December 1992, of 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This day 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.
The World Food Day is celebrated on the 16th of October and promotes global awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all. This year the World Food Day marks the 75th Anniversary of the founding of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
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. Achieving Zero Hunger is not only about addressing hunger, but also nourishing people, while nurturing the planet. The theme of the World Food Day 2020 is “Grow, nourish, sustain. Together. Our actions are our future.” and 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 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. Held annually on 13 October, 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.
Every two years, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) works with thinkers, practitioners, experts and innovators to investigate the state of risk across the globe: highlighting what’s new, spotting emerging trends, revealing disturbing patterns, examining behaviour, and presenting progress in reducing risk. The findings make up the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction.
“COVID-19 has interrupted essential mental health services around the world just when they’re needed most… World leaders must move fast and decisively to invest more in life-saving mental health programmes - during the pandemic and beyond.” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO)
Since 1992, the World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health. 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.
“The urgency of improving living conditions has been brought to the fore by COVID-19, which has devastated the lives of millions in cities. Access to clean water and sanitation, along with social distancing, are key responses to the pandemic. Yet in slums it has proved difficult to implement these measures. This means an increased risk of infection, not only within slums, but in whole cities.” – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
In 1985 the United Nations designated the first Monday of October every year as 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. As COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, people have been told to stay at home, but this simple measure is impossible for people who do not have adequate housing. Having an adequate home is now, more than ever, a matter of life and death. Hence, the World Habitat Day 2020 theme is “Housing For All — A Better Urban Future”.