Today is World Food Day 2017: Change the Future of Migration

Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

Today is World Food Day. World Food Day is both a day of action against hunger for those who are starving from lack of food and a day to promote worldwide awareness of the need to provide enough, nutritious food for everyone. World Food Day is celebrated in 150 countries around the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar.
World Food Day 2017World Food Day is a global observance held every year on October 16th to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. On this day, people from around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate worldwide hunger during our lifetime. The World Food Day 2017 theme is “Change the Future of Migration, Invest in Food Security and Rural Development.”

Why the focus on migration? Due to increased world conflict and political instability, World Food Day 2017 occurs when an estimated 60 million, or nearly 1 in 100 people worldwide, have been forced to flee their homes. That’s more than at any time since World War II.

Global hunger, which is on the rise for the first time in decades, poverty, and an increase in extreme weather events linked to climate change are other important factors contributing to the migration challenge.

Concerted action on migration

  • Migration should be a choice, not a necessity. International cooperation should address the structural drivers of large movements of people and create conditions that allow communities to live in peace and prosperity in their homelands.
  • Agriculture and rural development can address the root causes of migration by creating business opportunities and jobs for young people that are not only crop-based (such as small dairy or poultry production, food processing or horticulture enterprises). It can also lead to increased food security, more resilient livelihoods, better access to social protection, reduced conflict over natural resources and solutions to environmental degradation and climate change.
  • Investing in sustainable rural development, climate change adaptation and resilient rural livelihoods is an important part of the global response to the current migration challenge.
  • Working with governments, UN agencies, the private sector, civil society and local communities, FAO plays an important role in addressing the root causes of internal and international migration and displacement and in harnessing the developmental potential of migration, especially in terms of food security and poverty reduction.

The FAO aims to raise levels of nutrition across the globe, improve agricultural productivity at all levels, enhance the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. It also provides assistance to countries changing their agricultural policy, to aid regions out of famine situations, to help implement appropriate technology and facilitate a neutral environment to discuss issues around food production.

For more information, see the FAO report The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the world 2017.

About the Author

Walter Jessen is a senior writer for Highlight HEALTH Media.