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World Food Day 2017 Celebrations in Afghanistan

17/10/2017

Kabul - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in close coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) of Afghanistan celebrated the 37th anniversary of the World Food Day.

This year’s theme for World Food Day, “Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development,” highlights the relationship between migration, food security and agriculture and states that the drivers of migration (climate change, conflict and hunger and poverty) need to be addressed in order to make migration safe, orderly and regular.

FAO has a unique role to play in this context and is working to address the root causes of migration, advocating for solutions that make migration a choice and not a desperate last resort.

FAO is also working with governments, other UN agencies, the private sector, civil society and local communities to generate evidence on migration patterns and is building countries’ capacities to address migration through rural development policies. This way rural people can have the option to remain on their land or to leave if they want to.

“Close to 40% of the population of Afghanistan is living below the poverty line. Some serious actions have been taken to collectively combat this situation. During the last three years, the main focus of the Government has been to support the people in this critical situation. The agriculture sector contributes 1.8% to the GDP growth of the country; this is the highest contribution of any other sector,” said Nasir Ahmad Durani, MAIL Minister. 

In 2018, FAO will act as co-chair of the United Nations Global Migration Group to emphasize the linkage between agriculture, rural development and migration.

“We are committed to supporting the Government of Afghanistan together with our partners to take productive steps to collectively resolve the issue of forced migration. Furthermore, FAO supports the investment in and the implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). FAO is assisting the Government in 6 SDGs (i.e. SDG 1, 2, 6, 12, 13 and 15) that will ultimately contribute to poverty reduction, food security, nutrition, and the reduction of IDPs and migration,” states Tomio Shichiri, FAO Representative in Afghanistan. 

As FAO’s State of Food and Agriculture 2017 points out, there is growing concern that the progress in defeating global hunger is being reversed as record numbers of people flee their homes to escape fighting and the number of hungry people has increased.

“To mark World Food Day, the World Food Programme would like to emphasize on the importance of joint efforts and constructive partnerships among governments, business and organizations that will create the requisite momentum towards achieving Zero Hunger and shaping a brighter future for millions of people,” said the World Food Programme’s Country Director in Afghanistan, Mick Lorentzenhe.

Every year, the World Food Day takes place on October 16. The day’s main goal is to raise public awareness about hunger challenges and encourage people worldwide to take action in creating a Zero Hunger world.