FAO in Afghanistan

World Food Day Celebration


Kabul, Afghanistan – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in close coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the World Food Day (WFD) at MAIL in Afghanistan on 18 October 2020.

Every year on the World Food Day, FAO and its 130 member countries across the world commemorate the founding of FAO on 16 October 1945. World Food Day 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the FAO in an exceptional moment as countries around the world deal with the widespread effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.


The theme for this year - “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together.” - calls for global solidarity to help all population, and especially the most vulnerable, to recover from the crisis, and to make food systems more resilient and robust so they can withstand increasing volatility and climate shocks, and deliver sustainable healthy diets for all, and decent livelihoods for food system workers.


Over the years, the world has made great progress in the fight against poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. Agricultural productivity and food systems have come a long way. Still, too many people remain vulnerable. More than 2 billion people still do not have regular access to enough safe, and nutritious food. COVID-19 pandemic has added a further additional layer to this challenge, threatening to reverse important gains in food security, nutrition, and livelihoods. Now is the time to address the persistent inequalities and inefficiencies that have continued to plague our food systems, economies and social support structures. Now is the time to build back better.


Afghanistan is suffering from one of the most severe food crises worldwide. According to the 2020 Global Report on Food Crises, Afghanistan is ranked as the third worst crisis country globally, and food insecurity has significantly worsened since COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the country. The shock caused by COVID-19 comes on the back of 40 plus years of ongoing conflict, displacements, sudden onset shocks and weak social safety nets, which have severely debilitated the coping capacities of vulnerable households across the country. Even before the emergence of COVID-19, Afghanistan had nearly one third of its population in need of urgent food and livelihood assistance.


The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis from May 2020 reveals that the total number of people in current situation to be in acute food insecurity are nearly 11 million, which corresponds to 35% of the total population after the COVID-19 impacts in the country.


“The agriculture sector has been adversely impacted by COVID-19. On this World Food Day, FAO pledges to all sectors, the government, private sectors, farmers and individuals to join hands together in making the food system more resilient and assist the most vulnerable people and smallholder farmers to withstand this shock and safeguard their families’ food security”, says Rajendra Aryal, FAO Representative in Afghanistan. “This is the time that we need to work hand-in-hand”, adds Aryal.

“The socio-economic effects of COVID-19 in Afghanistan are heightening existing threats to food security linked to conflict and climate change. More than ever before, ‘grow, nourish, sustain,



Together’ encourages us further to work hand-in-hand to protect our future. There is an urgent need for concerted action to strengthen food systems, enhancing global supply chains and ending food waste”, says Parvathy Ramaswami, WFP Deputy Country Director in Afghanistan. “More than ever, there is a need for global solidarity to help the most vulnerable, food-insecure communities.”





For further information, please contact:

Freshta Ghani, Communications Associate, FAO Afghanistan: [email protected]