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World Food Day 2020: October 16

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World Food Day - October 16 2020The United Nations(UN)’s World Food Day is annually celebrated on October 16 to commemorate the founding date of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN in 1945, this year(2020) marks the 75th anniversary of FAO. The day raises global awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and also for the need to ensure healthy diets for all. 

Theme of World Food Day 2020– “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together”. 

World Food Day 2020

i.The day calls for global solidarity to help people recover from the crisis, especially the most vulnerable.

ii.It also calls to make food systems more resilient and robust.

iii.This requires improved social security programs and new opportunities offered by digitization and e-commerce, also sustainable agricultural practices that protect the natural resources of earth, people’s health and climate.

Background

i.World Food Day was established by Member Countries of FAO at the organisation’s 20th General Conference in November 1979.

ii.At the conference, the Hungarian Delegation, led by Dr. Pál Romány, the former Hungarian Minister of Agriculture and Food, suggested the idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide.

iii.Since then, the day is being observed every year in more than 150 countries to raise awareness on poverty and hunger.

iv.The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/35/70) to celebrate the day annually on October 16, considering the fact that food is requisite for human survival and well-being and a fundamental human necessity. 

2020 Events in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Released Commemorative Coin of Rs 75 denomination 

On the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of FAO, Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination to mark India’s long-standing relation with FAO.

PM Dedicates 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of eight crops to Nation

He also dedicated 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of eight crops to the nation on World Food Day.

Note

FAO has endorsed the proposal of India for the International Year of Pulses in 2016 and the International Year of Millets 2023.

Harsh Vardhan Chairs Event on ‘World Food Day’ Organized by FSSAI

Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare chaired an event on ‘World Food Day’ organized by FSSAI(Food Safety and Standards Authority of India). 

Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare joined the programme virtually.

Key People

Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, Arun Singhal, CEO FSSAI and other senior officials of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and FSSAI were present at the event. 

India Envisioned to Become Trans Fat free by 2022

i.India had envisioned to become trans-fat free by 2022, a year ahead of the target of WHO(World Health Organisation), in line with the vision of  Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Note– This year(2020)’s key focus is to eliminate Trans Fats, a food toxin present in Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (PHVOs) baked and fried foods, from the food supply chain.

ii.Trans fat is a major contributor to the rise in non-communicable diseases in India.

Launches Made by Harsh Vardhan:

The following are the launches made by Harsh Vardhan 

Challenges

i.The Eat Right Creativity Challenge for schools, a poster and photography competition .

ii.The ‘Eat Smart City’ (challenge) by FSSAI in partnership with Smart City Mission and The Food Foundation. It creates an environment of right food practices and habits in the smart cities of India and can set an example for other cities to follow.

Guidelines

The Food Safety and Hygiene Guidelines for Safe Reopening of School Canteen/Mess- document. It highlights the best practices that all the stakeholders should follow in the 

‘New normal of COVID-19’

Books

i.Book titled ‘Do you Eat Right?’, that helps to translate technical concepts on food and nutrition and the Eat Right initiatives into simple conventional style for the general public.

ii.Book titled ‘Orange Book’ for Eat Right Campus. 

FSSAI launched Handbook

FSSAI launched Daily Recommendations and Food Fortification– A handbook for States,  that provides answers to the prime concerns around food fortification to State government officials.

Other Day’s Related to Food:

i.World Food Safety Day- June 7

ii.World Hunger Day- May 28

iii.First Ever “International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste” observed on 29th September, 2020

About Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
Director-General– QU Dongyu
HeadQuarters– Rome, Italy