The right to food is a basic human right. Three-quarters of the extreme poor base their livelihoods on agriculture or other rural activities and these people are the most vulnerable to being displaced by destruction of these traditional livelihoods, hunger and extreme weather events linked to climate change. The world is on the move, and in order to bring attention to the impact of mass migrations on society and our food systems, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization has themed this year’s World Food Day “Change the Future of Migration: Invest in Food Security and Rural Development.”

Investing in secure food systems and rural development means addressing some of the major global challenges – from feeding the world’s growing population to protecting the global climate, and tackling some of the root causes of migration and displacement: Sustainable rural development can address some of the factors that compel people to migrate by creating business opportunities, resilient livelihoods and job opportunities that keep young people home. A plan to tackle migration by investing in sustainable rural development can lead to increased food security, better access to social protection, reduced conflict over natural resources and provide solutions to environmental degradation and climate change.

Migrants Cross Into Slovenia, LifeGate world food day, Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

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Food Security for the Sea?
The land-based focus of World Food Day begs the question, What about food security for impoverished coastal nations? The Marine Stewardship Council estimates that about 3 billion people in largely developing countries rely on fish as their main source of protein.

 

World Food Day 2017

World Food Day has been celebrated each October 16th since 1979.  World Food Day is a chance to show a worldwide commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. It’s also a day to celebrate the progress we have already made towards reaching #ZeroHunger.  Events start off in Rome, Italy with the FAO Director-General’s opening remarks. The Pope will be there – it’s the first time a Pope will attend the opening ceremonies in person. The Director General and the Pope will be joined by the Ministers of Agriculture from countries attending the Group of Seven Meeting. The presence of the Group of Seven Ministers of Agriculture will attest to the importance of the link between rural development, and a lack of food security resulting in migration.

In the US over 450 national and private voluntary organizations will sponsor World Food Day 2017 events ranging from community dinners to the Iowa Hunger Summit. For more on events worldwide go to fao.org.

By Bob Frerck, Blue Ocean Network

 

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