Ninety schoolchildren in the Syrian Arab Republic colourfully share their ideas to achieve Zero Hunger

Ninety schoolchildren in the Syrian Arab Republic colourfully share their ideas to achieve Zero Hunger

24/10/2018

To eliminate hunger in the world by 2030, agricultural and environmental practices must change to ensure that everyone has access to enough nutritious food. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform and the Ministry of Education in the Syrian Arab Republic work together to educate children on the value of the environment, agricultural good practices and the importance of protecting natural resources to guarantee sustainable food production in the future.

“Our actions are our future.” The 2018 World Food Day slogan inspired 90 children from three schools in Rural Damascus to create posters to express their ideas on how to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. Subject matter included apple orchards, bread making, a healthy and clean environment and advocating purchasing local products.

The three participating schools, along with additional 12 schools in Rural Damascus and 20 schools in Aleppo, were part of FAO’s integrated school garden initiative supported by the Government of Japan. More than 4 000 children learned about good agricultural practices and the importance of healthy diets.

On 16 October 2018, the FAO Representative in the Syrian Arab Republic, Mike Robson, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and the Director of Education in Rural Damascus awarded certificates to the ten most distinguished drawings. The finalists will participate in FAO’s global poster contest held at headquarters in Rome, Italy. A further 90 drawings were exhibited in an art show in Damascus.

“We celebrate World Food Day this year with a challenge to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. This means 12 years from now,” stated Mr Robson in his opening speech. “For children, this can seem like a lifetime away, but it is really only just around the corner. Zero Hunger is achievable if we all put our heads together to improve agricultural practices, value our food and use our resources wisely. And children, the next generation, will be the key,” he added.

Seven years of war in the Syrian Arab Republic has caused more than 5 million people to become food insecure. Farmers depending on cultivation continue to face difficulties in accessing land and water resources, seeds and agricultural inputs to produce enough food.

FAO and its partners are working together to improve food production in the Syrian Arab Republic by providing inputs and techniques to local farmers, strengthening the capacity of experts, and conducting analyses and studies on the evolving agricultural situation to provide decision makers with accurate information for planning.

“The war severely damaged agricultural infrastructure. However, it is clear that the country has the potential to position itself once again as a leader of food production in the region. We expect agriculture to become a major driver for economic recovery,” Mr Robson said.