The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) celebrated the World Food Day on 16 October 2019 at the ILRI campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The day was commemorated under the theme ‘Our actions are our future. Healthy diets for a #ZeroHunger world’. The theme underlined how achieving zero hunger is not only about addressing hunger, but also nourishing people, while nurturing the planet.
The day was marked by speeches, an exhibition, a panel discussion and beneficiary testimonials.
In her inaugural address, the FAO representative in Ethiopia, Fatuoma Seid, emphasized the importance of partnerships between farmers, governments, research institutes, the private sector and individuals to make healthy diets accessible and affordable to everyone.
Other keynote speakers from the UN agencies highlighted the need to transform food systems, address malnutrition and stunting among children and the importance of commitment from, and collaboration among, partners to achieve healthy diets and a zero hunger world.
The ILRI director general’s representative in Ethiopia, Siboniso Moyo, affirmed that ILRI will continue to work with partners towards improving food security and achieving zero hunger.
Four panelists from ILRI, FAO, and MoA and the private sector participated in the panel discussion. The panel, which was facilitated by Iyasu Abraha, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Agriculture, focused on the meaning of and the challenges of accessing healthy diets. The panelists noted that key challenges in accessing health diets in Ethiopia include:
- failure of existing food systems to address the needs of communities;
- the high cost and inaccessibility of healthy diets; and
- community perceptions that healthy diets are for the rich rather than for all.
The event was organized by ILRI, FAO and the MoA. It was attended by partner institutions, farmers, UN agencies, and members of civil societies.
Download the ILRI World Food Day 2019 brochure: Healthy diet: healthy for the environment, animals and the people