Each year World Food Day is observed to raise public-awareness on world hunger and to facilitate dialogue at local, national and global levels, on the search for possible solutions to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in our lifetime. This year marks the 31st observance of World Food Day and coincides with the 66th anniversary of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Quebec City, Canada in October 1945.
While the World Food Day theme in 2011 is “Food prices: from crisis to stability”, in the light of the aggravating situation in the Horn of Africa, a Special Ceremony will be organized by FAO in New York on Thursday 27 October 2011, focusing on the current drought and famine in the region that is taking the toll of human lives at risk on a daily basis making it an emergency of huge proportions.
This World Food Day Special ceremony will bring together the prominent people and opinion leaders from the UN system, humanitarian and development organizations, the private sector, other civil society organizations and celebrities.
Joining FAO in organizing the event are key partners such as, IFAD, WFP, Action Against Hunger, the UN Global Compact, the UN Office for Partnerships, the Hunger Project and the Group of Friends of Food Security and Nutrition at the United Nations.
The event will be an opportunity to raise funds in support to agriculture and livelihood recovery projects in the Horn of Africa and to assist households to meet their food needs over the next six months and beyond. In this context, FAO’s planned interventions towards farmers and pastoralists include distribution of seeds and other inputs, provision of animal feed, livestock vaccination and treatment, cash-for-work schemes, water harvesting, irrigation, storage of food at village level and rural infrastructure improvement.
The Special ceremony will be an occasion to hear key messages from the UN Secretary General, the President of the General Assembly, the President of ECOSOC, the FAO Director General and Chief Executives of WFP, IFAD, OXFAM GB. The presence of FAO Goodwill Ambassador, Dee Dee Bridgewater will add a special note to the ceremony.
The Representatives of UN Member States, Observer Organizations (European Union, African Union, CARICOM, League of Arab States), UN System, the Private Sector, and INGOs, will be invited to participate in the event and to contribute to the fundraising. Please join us in supporting the Horn of Africa.
The observance of World Food Day in New York at the United Nations Headquarters will take place from 13.00 to 14.30 on 27 October 2011 with a high-level event led by Mr. Jacque Diouf, FAO Director-General. The event will feature a light lunch, a cultural performance and a photo exhibit and video screening showcasing the critical situation in the Horn of Africa and the overall efforts of the International Community in addressing the crisis.
The entire UN community is invited to attend the World Food Day observance, including member states, the UN Secretariat, NGOs and Civil Society. For further information on the event and to RSVP, please contact the FAO Liaison Office at (212) 963 6036 or at LON-Registry@un.org
Many events related to the World Food Day will be organized all around the world and information on these events, as well as the Observance of the World Food Day in FAO Headquarters in Rome on 16 October 2011, are available at the World Food Day Web site.