World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honour of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. The day is celebrated widely by many other organisations concerned with food security, including the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.The world is on the move. More people have been forced to flee their homes than at any time since the Second World War due to increased conflict and political instability. But hunger, poverty, and an increase in extreme weather events linked to climate change are other important factors contributing to the migration challenge.
The theme of 2107 for world food day is “Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.”
8 Reasons Why Zero Hunger Changes the World
- Zero hunger could save the lives of 3.1 million children a year
- Well-nourished mothers have healthier babies with stronger immune systems
- Ending child undernutrition could increase a developing country’s GDP by 16.5 percent
- A dollar invested in hunger prevention could return between $15 and $139 in benefits
- Proper nutrition early in life could mean 46 percent more in lifetime earnings
- Eliminating iron deficiency in a population could boost workplace productivity by 20 percent
- Ending nutrition-related child mortality could increase a workforce by 9.4 percent
- Zero hunger can help build a safer, more prosperous world for everyone
According to FAO Large movements of people, today are presenting complex challenges, which call for global action. Many migrants arrive in developing countries, creating tensions where resources are already scarce, but the majority, about 763 million, move within their own countries rather than abroad.
Three-quarters of the extreme poor base their livelihoods on agriculture or other rural activities. Creating conditions that allow rural people, especially youth, to stay at home when they feel it is safe to do so and to have more resilient livelihoods, is a crucial component of any plan to tackle the migration challenge.
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, 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 the development and build the resilience of displaced and host communities, thereby laying the ground for long-term recovery and inclusive and sustainable growth.
- In 2015, there were 244 million international migrants, 40% more than in 2000.
- People who move within national borders were estimated at 763 million in 2013, meaning that there are more internal migrants than international migrants.
- About one-third of all international migrants are aged 15-34. Nearly half are women.
- In 2015, migrants sent over USD600 billion in remittances to their countries of birth. Of that, developing countries received about USD441 billion, nearly three times the amount of official development assistance.
- A large share of migrants come from rural areas where more than 75% of the world’s poor and food insecure depend on agriculture and natural resource-based livelihoods.
- Most migrants, whether international or internal, originate in the Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
- In 2015, 65.3 million people around the world were forcibly displaced by conflict and persecution, including over 21 million refugees, 3 million asylum-seekers and over 40 million IDPs.
- A quarter of global refugees reside in only three countries (Turkey, Pakistan and Lebanon).
- In 2015, more than 19 million people were internally displaced because of natural disasters. Between 2008 and 2015, an average of 26.4 million people was displaced annually by climate or weather-related disasters.
OUR INSPIRING STORIES
Laxmi Sunar wants her daughter to have the best possible education, but her most urgent concern is making sure that her family has enough food to eat.
“In the past five years, climate change has affected us,” Laxmi says. “Rain is uncertain. Crops have been damaged by fog and hailstones. There are nominal yields and we are suffering from food deficits.”
Laxmi’s husband migrated abroad four years ago in search of other work. Laxmi is responsible for their farm, livestock and young daughter.
“I went through a tough time during the prenatal and postnatal periods.I suffered because of lack of food and proper care. Had my husband been at home, somehow he would have managed to have enough food for me.”Laxmi’s husband took out a loan before leaving and most of the money he sends goes towards paying that debt.
“He does not earn much abroad. If we fail to pay interest on time, the money lender fines us the equivalent of double the interest. We need to pay back 24 percent interest per annum, if possible with capital, if not, then interest only.”
Laxmi now has some hope of improving productivity on her farm, thanks to a FAO-supported project designed to help farmers adapt to the impact of climate change and adopt more sustainable methods.She is one of about 3,000 farmers who is learning climate-smart methods to cultivate crops and care for livestock.
Under the project, farmers learn how to test different varieties of crops and use different methods to determine the best crops to grow on their land. They are also learning how and when to feed their animals differently.
The project, Reducing vulnerability and increasing adaptive capacity to respond to impacts of climate change and variability for sustainable livelihoods in the agriculture sector (2015-2019), is made possible with the support of the Global Environment Facility.