Founded in 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is an autonomous specialized agency of the United Nations. Its 180 member nations, and one member organization, the European Community, have pledged to improve:
FAO's activities include the following:
FAO's basic aim is to eliminate hunger and poverty. Its direction and priorities are the fruit of many years of study and experience. Since hunger and poverty are interlinked, FAO bas promoted world food security with the aim of ensuring for everyone, at all times and in all places, the physical and economic access to food.
In view of the magnitude and incidence of rural poverty which particularly affects small farmers, small fishermen, forest dwellers and other marginalized poor, FAO encourages integrated rural development policies and programmes covering food and fodder crops, animal husbandry, fisheries and forestry, in order to enhance food production, develop sound environmental management and promote economic self-reliance.
World Food Day (WFD) was established by FAO's Member Countries at the Organization's Twentieth General Conference in November 1979. The date chosen - 16 October - is the anniversary of FAO.
It bas since been observed every year in more than 150 countries.
WFD provides a reminder of FAO's constant search for a long-term solution to the problem of hunger and poverty in the world. WFD was created with the goal that "food for all" should become a human right for present and future generations.
WFD's objectives are:
WFD activities are organized mainly by participating countries, with due assistance from FAO. The Unit for Liaison with National Committees (GIDN) at FAO Headquarters assists in the coordination of various programmes under the overall aegis of the General Affairs and Information Department.
Governments: Most countries have established National Committees to promote, plan and execute activities at national level.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): NGOs take part in National Committees and they make an important contribution. In some countries, NGO coalitions are responsible for organizing WFD. A Global Confederation for WFD has been established.
Educational institutions: In many schools and institutions of learning, WFD focus is on developing awareness during the formative years and include essay or poetry competitions, workshops and round-tables, among other things.
Individuals: Participation of people at large is a main feature of WFD. In addition, individuals of standing in the community lend significant support to the objectives and activities of WFD.
WFD activities are carried out at local, national, regional and international levels. FAO Representatives and designated WFD Officers assist National WFD Committees and other participating organizations who decide the activities at the national level. In addition, a ceremony at FAO Headquarters is held on 16 October. Observances are also held by the FAO Regional Offices.
At the national and local levels, priority is given to activities in rural areas. The following list illustrates some of the types of activities that are organized:
In 1981 and 1982 the various initiatives were carried out under the theme "Food Comes First". Since 1983 an annual ~ theme has been chosen in order to provide a common focus for WFD activities, as follows:
1983 - Food Security
1984 - Women in Agriculture
1985 - Rural Poverty
1986 - Fishermen and Fishing Communities
1987 - Small Farmers
1988 - Rural Youth
1989 - Food and the Environment
1990 - Food for the Future
1991 - Trees for Life
1992: Food and Nutrition
1993: Harvesting Nature's Diversity
1994: Water for Life
1995: Food for All
1996: Fighting Hunger and Malnutrition
1997: Investing in Food Security
1998: Women Feed the World
1999: Youth Against Hunger
2000: A Millennium Free from Hunger
2001: Fight Hunger to Reduce Poverty
FAO produces various types of materials to provide support and concrete assistance to national organizers. Most documents are available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. Some also in Italian and Chinese. Local languages are used in various materials especially those produced in the countries.
Materials for the news media
For further information on World Food Day and what you can do on this occasion please contact the organizers of World Food Day or the FAO Office in your country or write to the following address:
Unit for Liaison with National Committees (GIDN)
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Via delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Telephone: 390657054166 - 390657053361
Cables: FOODAGRI ROME;Telex: 610181 FAO 1
Fax: (39-06) 57053210;
Email: email@example.comInternet URL: http:// www.fao.org