UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday, on the occasion of World Food Day, called for a change in action towards sustainable food systems.
In a video message, A. Guterres said that World Food Day was not only a reminder of the importance of food for every person on the planet, but also a call to action to ensure food security in the world.
Today almost 40 per cent of humanity, or 3 billion people, cannot afford to eat healthy food, he said.
Hunger, as well as malnutrition and obesity, are on the rise. The economic impact of the current pandemic has made the situation even worse. Because of the pandemic, 140 million more people do not have access to adequate food, the UN chief noted.
“Together with this, the way we produce, consume and discard food is severely damaging to our planet. This puts historic pressure on our natural resources, the climate and the natural environment – and costs us trillions of dollars a year,” Guterres said.
The theme of this year’s World Food Day is Our Action, Our Future. “As this year’s theme makes clear, the power to change the situation is within our grasp,” said the UN Secretary-General.
Last month the world gathered for the UN Summit on Food Systems. Countries made bold commitments to transform food systems: to make healthy food more accessible and affordable, and food systems more efficient, resilient and sustainable at every stage – from production and processing to marketing, transport and delivery, Guterres said.
“We can all change the way we consume food, to make healthier choices – for ourselves and for the planet. There is hope in our food systems. Join us on this World Food Day as we pledge to take transformative action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through food systems that ensure better food, a better environment and a better life for everyone,” the UN chief said.