As FAO turns 75, its mission to end hunger and nourish the world is as relevant today as ever

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-16 Fri 13:54
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16 October 2020, Rome - Today, World Food Day marks the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Born on the wake of catastrophe - World War II, three-quarters of a century later, FAO's mission to end hunger and nourish the world has been made more relevant because of another global scourge - the COVID-19 pandemic, said QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General.

Along the way, the world, and with it FAO, went from growing more food, to getting attuned to its environmental footprints, setting up regulatory frameworks in response, getting animal diseases under control, and, finally, seeing the fight against hunger as inseparable from other development goals.  

Hence, also, this year's World Food Day's theme: grow, nourish, and sustain. Together. 

"The present moment is again fraught with danger, complicated, and demands urgent action. As hunger grows once more, as the COVID-19 pandemic exposes the fragility of our food systems, history is calling upon us once more to rise to the challenge," urged Qu.

The Director-General spoke today at FAO's global 75th Anniversary/World Food Day virtual event in Rome, which brought together Pope Francis; Italy's President; Lesotho's King and Spain's Queen - FAO Special Goodwill Ambassadors for Nutrition; UN's Secretary General; and the heads of IFAD and WFP.

Saluting FAO's anniversary, Pope Francis described the organization's mission as "beautiful and important".

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