More than words: FAO’s history and vision in images


Acting together, we can achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. This is FAO’s ambitious goal and the theme underpinning the book Towards Zero Hunger 1945–2030, a unique collection of images documenting FAO’s leading role in fighting hunger worldwide since 1945.

FAO’s photo archives contain more than a million images, reflecting its tireless efforts over seven decades. This book contains just a representative sample of pictures, eloquent tokens of the activities of the UN’s oldest agency. These range from black and white shots of its pioneering work tackling poverty and malnutrition, through to the colour photographs that capture FAO’s ongoing efforts to end hunger today, in the face of new and pressing challenges such as climate change and migration.

Images can be more powerful than words, but combined they convey the breadth and extent of FAO’s endeavour. The photographs are complemented by texts describing FAO’s work and significant moments in its history. From food security initiatives in rural areas to the battle against pests and diseases such as rinderpest, the book offers real-life examples of how working toward Zero Hunger can transform people’s lives.

Some of the photographs included have served as historical records, documenting specific situations and projects. Others have been used for didactic purposes, explaining new techniques or giving guidance for practical operations in the field, especially in areas with high-levels of illiteracy or where there is lack of material in local languages.

The book was presented during World Food Day on 16 October 2017 by FAO’s Director-General who participated in an animated discussion with goodwill Ambassadors Carlo Petrini, President of Slow Food for Europe; Guadalupe Valdez, economist and former congresswoman for Latin America and the Caribbean; Darine el Khatib, media professional for the Near East; Kanayo F. Nwanze, former President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development for Africa and HRH, Princess Maha Chakri Srindhorn, Zero Hunger Ambassador for the region of Asia, through a video message, on how to achieve Zero Hunger together.