World Food Day is a Time to Reflect on the challenges of Hunger and Associated Challenges.

UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Charles Abani calls on consumers and the private sector to support Government efforts at combatting hunger.

I am honoured to join you and to speak at the occasion of World Food Day 2020.  I commend the various sector Ministries and partners for making sure the food agenda stays on the table, especially in these difficult times when the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic - a global scourge that has exposed the fragility of our food systems and threatens to push millions more into hunger.

Food is the essence of life and the bedrock of our cultures and communities and yet, some of us often take it for granted, while many go without. This day is an important day to remember the many millions of people around the world, including in Africa, who do not have enough food to eat, who go to bed hungry and unsure where their next meal will come from.  

It is also an important reminder of the urgent need to do more to not just end hunger, but also to ensure everyone has enough nutritious food to lead an active, healthy life. As we observe World Food Day, we recognise our food system workers or #FoodHeroes who have continued to produce, plant, harvest, fish or transport our food, despite these difficult times, helping to grow, nourish and sustain our world. 

Hunger is the leading cause of death in the world; yet eradicating hunger and malnutrition is one of the great challenges of our time.  The United Nations, through the various agencies, funds and programmes, is working with the people and government of Ghana to further the Government’s commitment of making Ghana resilient towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals which includes the goal of ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition.

This year opens the Decade of Action to Deliver the Global Goals and more than ever, we need innovative solutions and strong partnerships. And I thank the Government of Ghana for their strong partnership so far.

This year, the world has been hit severely by the global coronavirus pandemic.  The pandemic has tested health systems and food systems. But it has also prompted all of us to change the way we work and has shown how we can quickly adopt new technologies and processes and move way beyond ‘business as usual’.

That same agility and innovation is needed if we are truly to end poverty, hunger and malnutrition. Together, with its partners, the United Nations is pushing frontiers to respond to and to ensure the health crisis does not become a food crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the persistent inequalities and inefficiencies in our food systems.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Next year’s United Nations Secretary-General’s Food Systems Summit promises to be a critical moment in the global efforts to transform food systems to make them work for people and planet. And I trust the Government of Ghana will be an active participant in that important global summit.

It is not just governments that must play a part in building a world free of hunger. Consumers and the private sector are crucial partners in this effort as well, together with the United Nations.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the UN’s World Food Programme for winning this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to combat hunger – indeed this is a great win for the entire UN family.  The award strengthens our resolve to meet the humanitarian needs, including food, for the world’s people and to make sure no one is left behind.

I urge all of you to leave today’s ceremony remembering World Food Day’s theme that ‘our actions are our future’ and thinking about what actions you can take to cut the number of people having to go to bed hungry.

Thank you.

 

 

 

Speech by
Author
Charles Abani
UN Resident Coordinator
UN
Charles Abani
UN entities involved in this initiative
FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
RCO
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
WFP
World Food Programme