• World Food Day is an annual call to action by the United Nations on 16 October each year.
  • Almost one in ten people globally are undernourished, and more than 3 billion can’t afford a healthy diet, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
  • Conflict, climate change and rising prices are all contributing to growing food insecurity around the world.
  • The FAO says governments should re-evaluate their support to agriculture to help improve sustainable production of more nutritious foods.

World Food Day, held this year on 16 October, is an annual reminder that food insecurity and malnourishment remain widespread and are poised to worsen thanks to a range of ongoing threats, including climate change, inflation, geopolitical conflict, and more.

Here’s what to know about World Food Day and why it’s more important than ever.DISCOVER

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What is World Food Day and how did it get started?

World Food Day is marked on 16 October each year. It commemorates the founding of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945. Hundreds of events and outreach activities around the world bring together governments, businesses, the public and the media to promote awareness and action for those suffering from hunger.


The human statistics are stark. Almost one in 10 people in the world are undernourished, according to the United Nations. Globally, around one in five children under the age of five were stunted in 2020, many as a result of inadequate nutrition. While a fifth of people in Africa faced hunger last year.

Projections suggest that 670 million people – 8% of the world’s population – will still be facing hunger in 2030.

What is this year’s World Food Day theme?

This year’s theme is ‘Leave NO ONE behind’. The FAO says access to, and availability of, nutritious food is being increasingly impeded by the current global challenges. The problem is particularly acute for the 80% of people classified as ‘extreme poor’ who live in rural areas. They are the hardest hit by human-made and natural disasters. Some are also marginalized due to gender and ethnic origin.

Looking ahead to World Food Day the FAO says: “In the face of global crises, global solutions are needed more than ever. By aiming for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, we can transform agrifood systems and build forward better by implementing sustainable and holistic solutions that consider development in the long term, inclusive economic growth, and greater resilience.”

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