The United Nations (UN) World Food Day (WFD) is annually observed across the globe on 16 October to highlight the millions of people worldwide who cannot afford a healthy diet and the need for regular access to nutritious food.
- WFD also raises awareness of hunger and action for the future of food, people, and the planet and also to ensure food security and combating hunger.
The day 16 October also commemorates the establishment of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN in 1945.
The 2023 theme of WFD is, ‘Water is Life, Water is Food. Leave No One Behind.’
- The theme highlights the basic role of water in guaranteeing food security and focuses on the need for water resources in our attempts to battle hunger and malnutrition, emphasizing the need to ensure equitable access to water resources for all.
The observance of WFD is led by the FAO. WFD is one of the most celebrated days on the UN calendar.
i.WFD was established in 1979 during the 20th session of the Conference of FAO, held in Rome, Italy.
ii.On 5 December 1980, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/35/70 and proclaimed the 16th of October of every year as WFD.
iii.The first-ever WFD was observed on 16 October 1981.
World Food Day Events 2023:
i.The 2023 WFD events are taking place as part of the 2023 World Food Forum (WFF), a youth-led movement and network to transform our agrifood systems.
- The 2023 WFF flagship events are scheduled from 16 to 20 October 2023 at the Headquarters of FAO in Rome, Italy, and virtually.
- The event is comprised of the WFF Global Youth Forum, the FAO Science and Innovation Forum, and the FAO Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum.
Note: WFF is committed to the theme: “Agrifood systems transformation accelerates climate action.”
ii.The 2023 WFD events include the Presentation of FAO’s Achievement Award, Intergenerational Dialogue: The modernisation of FAO, and the Inauguration of the WFD exhibit among others.
FAO Award for Achievement:
i.The FAO Conference, during its 42nd Session in June 2021, agreed to institute the “FAO Award for Achievement.”
ii.This award, designed to be an integral part of the annual World Food Day celebrations, will be presented to commendable entities or individuals, including FAO teams and employees.
iii.The Award is conferred for activities and programs with remarkable achievements conducted during the biennium preceding the current year.
Nature of the Award:
- A scroll describing the achievements of the recipient institution and/or an award;
- A cash prize of USD 10,000.
Winners of FAO Award for Partnership 2023:
- Al-Shouf Cedar Society (ACS), Lebanon.
- The Nepal Agriculture Cooperative Central Federation Limited (NACCFL), Nepal.
Junior World Food Day 2023:
i.The 3rd edition of the hybrid Junior WFD event will take place on 19 October 2023.
ii.The event features Rodrigo Pacheco, FAO National Goodwill Ambassador for Ecuador; Diarmuid Gavin, FAO National Goodwill Ambassador for Ireland;
- It also includes International food heroes and chefs, Fatmata Binta, Anahita Dhondy, Bela Gil, Michael Haddad, Olivia Mandle, Max Mariola, and Matteo Ward.
iii.The event will accompanied by a live performance of the 2023 youth music video by Piccola Orchestra di Tor Pignattara and friends.
i.Agriculture accounts for 72% of global freshwater withdrawals, but only 2.5% of water is fresh, and suitable for drinking, agriculture, and most industrial uses.
- 16% is used by industries; and 12% by municipalities for households and services.
- Global water demand for agriculture is expected to increase by 35% by 2050.
ii.Currently 2.4 billion people live in water-stressed countries, and approximately 10% of the global population live in countries with high and critical water stress.
iii.Around 600 million people depend, at least partially, on aquatic food systems for a living.
iv.Almost 1 billion tonnes of food, 17% of all food available to consumers worldwide, are thrown away each year. It results in the waste of water resources too.
- 95% of our food is produced on land and all begins with soil and water.
FSSAI Launches Eat Right Creativity Challenge for Millets on World Food Day 2023
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) marked WFD 2023 by launching the Eat Right Creativity Challenge (ERCC), a national-level initiative for Millets (Shree Anna). It aims to encourage the consumption of millet among school children to promote their health benefits and extend this knowledge to the wider community.
- This initiative is part of efforts taken by FSSAI during the celebration of the International Year of Millets (IYOM) 2023 to raise public awareness about the nutritional advantages of millets through various means.
- Millets are known for their nutritional value and sustainability, making them a suitable choice for a balanced diet.
Note: FSSAI is the apex food regulator of India under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
Eat Right Creativity Challenge (ERCC):
i.It is part of FSSAI’s Eat Right India movement, which encourages students to adopt healthy dietary habits.
ii.This initiative also motivates schools to create an environment that promotes healthy and safe food practices.
- So far, 3 ERCCs have been successfully conducted in multiple phases, each with its unique theme.
iii.The initiative aims to empower young people as agents of change, capable of influencing the broader community to make healthier food choices.
Winners of the competition will receive cash prizes and certificates. A total of 160 prizes will be awarded at the regional level, and an additional 40 prizes will be given at the national level for each of the 4 competitions.