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Statement by the Director-General, Jan Beagle, on World Food Day

16 Oct 2020

On World Food Day, IDLO joins the international community in its call to ensure and promote access to safe and nutritious food globally and for all.

This year’s celebrations take place in the backdrop of unprecedented global challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated existing injustices and inequalities and in the process has revealed the inability of current systems to ensure food security for the most vulnerable. Unless immediate action is taken, the number of people facing acute hunger stands to double by the end of 2020.

As our counterparts at FAO have noted, preserving access to safe and nutritious food is key to pandemic response and recovery, particularly for communities who are hit hardest not only by the pandemic and its resulting socio-economic shocks, but also by the impacts of crises driven by climate change, conflict, poverty, and social inequality.

The World Food Programme’s receipt of the Nobel Prize for Peace underscores in timely fashion the importance of coordinated efforts in tackling hunger and its causes. As we observe World Food Day under the theme of “Grow, nourish, sustain. Together. Our actions are our future.”, we accord special focus to the actions we undertake together, as it is by building and sustaining partnerships that we best address problems that are themselves fundamentally interconnected. The successes of the WFP present a shining example of constructive multilateralism at work.

The same is true of our work at IDLO. Our targeted interventions build on the broad contributions of other actors, with many of whom we are working to strengthen legal and policy frameworks to promote equitable and sustainable food systems.

To address urgent threats to the right to food for those most at risk, IDLO has partnered with FAO on a project which aims to enhance food security for vulnerable groups, including women and girls, in the context of pandemic response and recovery in Honduras and Uganda.

Aware of the role of sustainable and healthy diets in disease prevention, we are also working with the World Health Organization and other partners to support institutions in implementing legal and regulatory components of mandated strategies on nutrition.

Food insecurity presents a multi-dimensional threat to millions of people around the world. It requires a concerted and cross-sectoral response. Today, as we honour the 75th anniversary of FAO and its mandate to build a world without hunger, IDLO stands ready to contribute its substantive and technical expertise towards the global realization of the right to food.

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The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) enables governments and empowers people to reform laws and strengthen institutions to promote peace, justice, sustainable development and economic opportunity.