World Food Day in Iraq: Working together to achieve zero hunger by 2030

World Food Day in Iraq: Working together to achieve zero hunger by 2030

16/10/2018

To celebrate World Food Day, the Ministry of Agriculture in Iraq, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) joined together under the patronage of H.E. Minister of Agriculture in Baghdad. The theme for the event was “Our Actions are our Future: A #ZeroHunger World by 2030 is possible”.

This event focused on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – ending hunger in the world by 2030. To end hunger is at the heart of FAO’s and WFP’s mandates. The agencies work together to ensure that people obtain enough high-quality food to enjoy an active and healthy life. The organizations work with partners and goverments to implement policies aimed at ending hunger.

“I would like to express my pleasure in joining the celebration of World Food Day,” said Deputy Minister of Agriculture Dr Mahdi al-Qaisi. “On this occasion, we would like to invite the international community, and specifically Arab organizations, to focus their efforts on improving food security. We would also like to emphasize the role of FAO in supporting projects that have contributed to introducing technology for agricultural activities to provide more support to improve the efficiency of agricultural production, both animal and crop farming. This aims to achieve national food security that is in harmony with the aspirations of FAO to achieve global food security.”

“Today, FAO celebrates World Food Day to send a clear message to the world about hunger,” said Fadel El-Zubi, FAO Representative in Iraq. “It is the worst kind of malnutrition mankind can face, but SDG 2, Zero Hunger, does not entail the battle against hunger only, but also deals with all forms of malnutrition as well as sustainable agricultural development.”

“We call on the international community to work together in order to benefit from capacities and available mechanisms, as it is still possible to achieve zero hunger if  efforts are unified through all countries, continents, sectors and cities during the few remaining years to 2030,” he added.

“World Food Day brings us together to focus our attention and efforts on SDG 2, which aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030, in Iraq and around the world,” said WFP Iraq Deputy Country Director Marianne Ward.

“Thanks to the work of leading Iraqi experts and the international community, Iraq knows what needs to be done to ensure that Iraq meets the goal of Zero Hunger by 2030. But we can’t do any of this alone — we need partners such as FAO, the Ministry of Agriculture and Civil Society — everyone has a role to play,” she added.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, FAO representative and the Deputy Agriculture Minister signed a document of a FAO project to prevent the spread of the red palm weevil in Iraq. The project aims to coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture, national and regional partners in order to develop an active implementation mechanism for appropriate botanic health measures on a global scale. This devastating pest was documented for the first time in Iraq in the Safwan area of Basra Governorate in October 2015.

The ceremony was concluded with a presentation of FAO’s activities and programmes that aim to achieve the SDG 2. Diplomats, national and international representatives attended the ceremony as well as representatives of the public and private sectors in Iraq, and a large number of staff from the Ministry of Agriculture.

World Food Day coincides with the 73th anniversary of the founding of FAO on 16 October 1945. It is celebrated in more than 150 countries around the world. Activities aim to raise global awareness and unify efforts for millions of people who suffer from hunger to eliminate it and ensure food security and effective food systems for all.