This week, the world recognized key problems that are impacting communities everywhere. World Food Day and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty are, in our opinion, inextricably linked.
World Food Day
The month of October brings with it a harvest season in many countries as well as the reminder that the world has yet to become food secure or to obtain zero hunger on October 16th, World Food Day. Begun in 1981 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, each year has something of a theme, with this year’s theme centered on a multi-sectoral approach to identify and implement responsible solutions for not only reaching zero hunger, but also ensuring that the food we produce is truly nourishing to the body and the process of farming and food production is nourishing to the planet.
The World Food Bank team works on this vision 365 days per year. We recognize that building efficient and effective agricultural ecosystems that are scalable and sustainable requires much more than just the promotion of projects and programs alone. While each country and each geography will have varying dynamics, we believe the great solutions are almost always to be found in the collaborative partnering of government, civil society, and business.
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
It’s not ironic that the day after World Food Day is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. With the majority of those living in poverty being tied to agriculture, the two are inextricably linked.
Here’s an interesting fact: The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the world’s richest country with more than $24 trillion in assets, but its population lives at an average income level so low that they are considered the fourth poorest on the planet. For years governments have been pouring aid and other various forms of assistance into this is similar countries when good governance could turn the country around in a few short years, yet the culture of corruption is pervasive and hundreds of millions go into the pockets of a corrupt few, while millions of men, women, and children they call neighbor, live on less than $1 a day.
The resources to end poverty exist right now as do the resources to end hunger. What is missing is the will of those in power to put others before themselves, and to build systems that include structures to promote working toward common goals, with clear consequences for circumventing those structures.
On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we celebrate those leaders who are fighting the tides of the institutionalized corruption that exists in so much of the world today, and we encourage collaboration among stakeholders in the creation of efficient ecosystems that build strong economies.