ACTNews, JAKARTA – World Food Day is celebrated every October 16th. As in previous years, World Food Day carries various themes in celebration. These themes have a background of problems in the food sector that require world attention.
This year, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has a theme, "Our actions are our future-Better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life". With this theme, FAO invites the public to maintain food security and protect the environment by implementing a sustainable food production system and having a positive impact on the environment.
World Food Day is not only about celebrating the food we enjoy but also about raising awareness that there are still many people who cannot enjoy this privilege.
The gap is palpable when most people can enjoy whatever food they want without a second thought, while others are still struggling to put food on the table.
Many people in the world suffer from hunger, and several countries are also hit by cases of high food insecurity. Based on data from The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI), made by world humanitarian organizations from various fields such as FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP, and WHO, the world, in general, has not made progress, both in ensuring access to food, safe, nutritious, and sufficient for everyone all year round.
In terms of population, taking into consideration, the additional statistical uncertainty, it is estimated that between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020. Considering the middle of the projected range (768 million), 118 million more people were facing hunger in 2020 than in 2019 – or as many as 161 million, considering the upper bound of the range.
The number of people affected by hunger increased in 2020 under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. After remaining virtually unchanged from 2014 to 2019, the prevalence of undernourishment (PoU) climbed to around 9.9 percent in 2020, from 8.4 percent a year earlier.
Last year’s SOFI report stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic was having a devastating impact on the world’s economy, triggering an unprecedented recession not seen since the Second World War and that the food security and nutrition status of millions of people, including children, would deteriorate if we did not take swift action. Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to expose weaknesses in our food systems, which threaten the food security and nutrition of millions of people in the world.
Of the total number of undernourished people in 2020 (768 million): the highest increase in cases occurred in Asia, with a total of 418 million cases of food insecurity, followed by Africa with 282 million cases. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is 60 million cases.
Nearly one in three people in the world (2.37 billion) did not have access to adequate food in 2020 – that’s an increase of almost 320 million people in just one year. While the global prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity has been slowly on the rise since 2014, the estimated increase in 2020 was equal to that of the previous five years combined.