11 July 2024

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) marked World Food Day in Rome on Friday with a call to “leave no one behind” in the fight against hunger, with the head of the organization calling for a united approach to confront “a looming global food crisis.”

The theme of the event at the FAO headquarters in the Italian capital this year was “Leave No One Behind: Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life.”

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, and FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu addressed delegates at the event, calling on all parties to combat hunger and malnutrition.

“We need to act now, do more and better together. In the face of a looming global food crisis, we need to harness the power of solidarity and the collective momentum to build a better future where everyone has regular access to enough nutritious food,” said Qu.

As many as 828 million people worldwide are facing chronic hunger, and 3.1 billion people lacked the resources for a healthy diet due to the residual impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and persistent long-term challenges related to climate change and regional armed conflicts, according to a FAO statement.

World Food Day is celebrated on Oct 16 each year to mark the anniversary of the founding of the FAO in Rome in 1945 at the end of World War II.

The main events took place at FAO headquarters, but there were hundreds of related initiatives being held in around 150 countries, with calls to action in more than 50 languages, the organization said.