FAO in Jamaica, Bahamas and Belize

Weeklong World Food Day celebrations in Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize

2019 World Food Day celebrations

FAO celebrated World Food Day under the theme Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World with weeklong activities across the representation in partnership with the Ministries of Agriculture for Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize.

Activities across the representation started on Friday, October 11 and culminated on Sunday, October 20, 2019 and included numerous radio and television interviews by FAO Representative Dr Crispim Moriera and partners from the Ministries, a World Food Day jingle and numerous radio announcements. 

In Jamaica, FAO collaborated on three major activities for World Food Day.

The National Ceremony, Exhibition and Tree Planting took place on Friday, October 11 on the grounds of the Christiana High School. FAO in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, spent the day with students from over 10 schools across the parish of Manchester. FAO Representative, Dr Crispim Moriera delivered greetings on the occasion of FAO’s birthday and Minister Audley Shaw delivered the key note message and awarded the hosting school a water pump, numerous farming tools and a makeover of their school garden.

Booths were set up by various agencies and partners of the Ministry as well as the 4H Club of the Christiana High School. FAO’s booth focused on healthy eating practices, with the award of several prizes including a healthy basket for students who engaged in conversations about healthy eating.

FAO also partnered with the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) of the University of the West Indies on a Public Forum on Climate Change and the Future of Food Security: Positioning Agro-food Systems for our Health and Wealth. The Forum was organised by Fellow Dr Patricia Northover in partnership with FAO. Ms Martina Duncan, FAO Junior Professional Officer on Climate Change and Risk Management from the Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean took part in the public forum along with various representatives from academia and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries. FAO displayed information on the climate resilient Cassava crop and the seven major areas affected by climate change.

The final celebration was FAO’s collaboration with the Institute of Jamaica for “An Afternoon with a Scientist”. Organised by the Institute through Ms Kareen Parks. Mrs Chrishane Williams-James, FAO Communications Officer engaged over 80 students from across three primary schools in a talk and activities on healthy eating habits and lifestyle practices. 

In the Bahamas, with the passing of Hurricane Dorian just weeks before, plans to have a major youth rally were cancelled and replaced with an eight page newspaper supplement, school assemblies and a donation drive for those affected by the hurricane. The newspaper supplements contained addresses from the Minister of Agriculture, Michael Pintard and FAO Director General, Qu Dongyu and featured an array of articles on FAO and World Food Day written by agencies that work closely with FAO. The donated food and clothes will be given to the Bahamas Red Cross for distribution to hurricane victims.

In Belize, several activities took place across the country.

The week of celebration started with a Rural Youth Symposium focused on Engaging Rural Youth on Agriculture at the Ladyville Technical High School. The symposium showcased the opportunities within the agriculture sector to improve dialogue for continued investment in programmes linking youth employment and agriculture, and agriculture and food systems and rural development.

A National Ceremony and Exhibition at the Ladyville Technical High School also took place with many exhibits from Departments within the Government, Non-Governmental Organizations, the Private Sector and other organizations and partners. Ms Melissa Almendarez, FAO National Correspondent delivered the World Food Day message. The unveiling of the logo for the Belize Parliamentary Alliance against Hunger and Malnutrition also took place. The logo was the result of a Logo competition launched by the alliance and which was won by Brian Tzib, from the Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School, who was also awarded a cash prize of BZE$1,000 courtesy of the Ministry of Education.

A Tree Planting at the Belize High School of Agriculture also took place with students planting over a thousand trees to help in mitigating the impacts of climate change and helping to reduce hunger.

The final celebration, an Agriculture Showcase took place at the Independence High School with several performances by students and a competition promoting healthy eating.

A video highlight of all the World Food Day activities in Belize can be watched here.