Today, exactly 78 years ago, on October 16, 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was founded. Since then, World Food Day has been celebrated worldwide on this day. The goal was the same then as it is today: to free people from hunger.
The “Agenda 2030” – a so-called global future treaty – sets the goal for the international community to end global hunger. The year is set to be 2030 which means we have exactly seven years left to achieve this. But for several years now, the number of people affected by hunger has been on the rise again. The progress made by the tireless efforts of local, regional and international players has been repeatedly set back by climate disasters, global and local conflicts and, especially in recent years, the impact of the Covid 19 crisis. Despite all efforts and the joining of forces, more than 800 million people worldwide suffer from malnutrition, according to the World Hunger Index.
For 35 years VSF-Suisse has been working with people affected by hunger, in line with the philosophies of World Food Day and the FAO. We help to improve food security and livelihoods of people in West and East Africa. These include South Sudan and Somalia, where, according to the Global Report on Food Crisis 2023, among others, the highest number of households face extreme food shortages.
Following the motto “healthy animals, healthy people, healthy environment” VSF-Suisse mainly supports people who live from and with animals. The work is differentiated and exciting: one project may be to promote camel breeding, another to train animal health workers, and a third to simplify the production of animal fodder. We approach things differently depending on the need, always working with communities to create sustainable and self-sufficient food security.
Sufosec, the Alliance for Sustainable Food System and Empowered Communities
In addition to our own project work, VSF-Suisse is part of Sufosec, the Alliance for Sustainable Food System and Empowered Communities, together with five other Swiss NGOs. The goal is to promote food security thanks to sustainable and local food systems that are more resilient to climate change. By joining forces, we are active in many different parts of the world, working as an alliance to find the best solutions to hunger. The positive impact is already evident: since the start of the programme, food insecurity has fallen from 72% to 65% in 2022 in 32 project areas from 15 programme countries. More figures can be found in the Sufosec interim report published today.
However, the work is far from over. Today serves as a a reminder of the urgency of the global situ-ation and a call for all of us to do our part. Hunger is mainly human-made, so it can also be reme-died by us humans.