UN food body vows to end famine

World Food Day aims to raise awareness to achieve 'zero-hunger world', says FAO official

UN food body vows to end famine

World Hunger Day this year will be celebrated with the theme of Zero Hunger, said Viorel Gutu, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) representative in Turkey.

"This year, World Food Day aims to remind the international community of its fundamental political commitment to humanity -- the eradication of all forms of malnutrition -- and raise awareness that achieving a zero-hunger world by 2030 is still possible," Gutu told Anadolu Agency. 

A World Food Day celebration will be held on Oct. 17 in Istanbul with FAO's "main partner" the Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, the Sustainability Academy and Turkish Food and Beverage Employers Association (TUGIS) as part of the Sustainable Food Conference, Gutu said. 

"We want to reach all of our partners on this special day to renew our commitment and, even more important, the political support towards a sustainable world free from hunger and all forms of malnutrition," he said. 

Gutu called to enhance governance and coordination mechanisms to facilitate dialogue and create incentives for different sectors.

Pointing out that people have become desensitized and disconnected to the fact that millions of people are hungry, Gutu said: "People need to adopt a new mindset byusing the Earth’s resources more wisely, following nutritious diets, and also changing day-to-day actions with the aim of reducing waste and taking on a more sustainable lifestyle."

He added that rural populations need to empower themselves by uniting and forming local cooperatives.  

Gutu underlined that the number of undernourished people in the world increased  for the third consecutive year in 2017.

"Last year, 821 million people suffered from hunger (11 percent of the world population -- one in nine people on the planet), most of them are living in poor rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia," Gutu said. 

He added that the hunger rate in Turkey is among the lowest in the world. 

"FAO estimates that the rate is less than 2.5 percent. However, the country is facing a high rate of obesity which is another form of malnutrition," he expressed.