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World Food Day 2021

Indian children ride in a cart on the way home from school in the outskirts of New Delhi. (File)

World Food Day is a day of action against hunger.

World Food Day 2021
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October 16th is World Food Day, a day of action against hunger. The date commemorates the founding in 1945 of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO. The observance serves to raise awareness of global hunger and malnutrition, and how these scourges could be ended.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO, nearly one in three people in the world (2.37 billion) did not have access to adequate food in 2020 – that’s an increase of almost 320 million people in just one year.

The United States is here to help, said President Joe Biden on September 16, in his speech before the UN General Assembly.

“At a time when nearly one in three people globally do not have access to adequate food — adequate food, just last year — the United States is committing to rallying our partners to address immediate malnutrition and to ensure that we can sustainably feed the world for decades to come.

To that end, the United States is making a $10 billion commitment to end hunger and invest in food systems at home and abroad.”

This multi-year investment will promote food systems transformation through innovation; improved infrastructure for food access and inclusive market opportunities; programs prioritizing women’s and children’s needs; improving nutrition; reducing food loss and waste; and climate change mitigation and adaptation within our own country and worldwide. “We’re committed to promoting science-based policies to address climate change, sustainable food systems, and global food security and nutrition” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken

“It’s vital that we invest in reducing hunger; promoting so-called “climate-smart” agricultural practices; and empowering women, who make up more than 40 percent of the world’s agricultural labor force but face significant discrimination when it comes to land and livestock ownership, access to credit, fair pay, and participation in decision-making. We can’t unleash the full potential of the world’s food systems if so many of the people doing the work are denied their basic human rights.”

The United States, said President Biden, will “continue to be the world’s largest contributor to humanitarian assistance, bringing food, water, shelter, emergency healthcare, and other vital, lifesaving aid to millions of people in need.