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Expo 2020 Dubai calls for a future with zero hunger to mark World Food Day

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Expo 2020 Dubai is spearheading support for the worldwide fight against hunger and food poverty, as World Food Day is marked on Saturday.

Estimates by the United Nations and other groups have the world’s population approaching 10 billion people toward the end of this century, however a global pandemic, the upheavals of climate change and political and military conflicts around the world add up to an unprecedented test of the planet’s ability to feed its people.

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The Expo, in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is marking World Food Day, the 76th anniversary of the founding of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, to support collective action for zero hunger and urging multiple sectors to participate.

Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “As the first global event taking place since the pandemic began, Expo 2020 is a crucial platform to bring together the best minds to enable action and inspire solutions to challenges that affect us all.”

“On World Food Day, our World Expo calls for global solidarity to rethink and reshape our food security and food systems in ways that will ensure healthy lives, and sustain the people and planet for future generations.”

Whether it is through showcasing national food heroes or sustainable agricultural practices, hosting transformative food policy dialogs or creating awareness campaigns, Expo’s World Food Day events are a call to action to restore balance in our food systems, and galvanize efforts to achieve a world without hunger.

Visitors are invited to join the rally to raise awareness by attending the flagship event, organized by Expo 2020’s program for People and Planet, which takes place at the Opportunity Forum at Mission Possible – The Opportunity Pavilion from 2.30pm to 7.15pm.

The line-up of speakers includes Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security; Dr Agnes Kalibata, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to the 2021 Food System’s Summit; and Maximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist of FAO.

Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: ”On this special occasion, we call on everyone to roll up their sleeves and join us on our mission of strengthening global food security. By contributing to sustainable food production, improving purchasing patterns, adopting sustainable consumption habits, or simply raising awareness about this crucial topic, we can all become food heroes.”

According to the most recent estimates, more than 51 million people in the Near East and North Africa region are hungry, and the triple burden of malnutrition of undernutrition, overweight and obesity, and micronutrient deficiencies is increasing at an alarming rate, particularly among school-age children and adults.

Abdulhakim Elwaer, FAO’s Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa, said: “World Food Day 2021 will be marked a second time during the COVID-19 pandemic, whose repercussions disrupted agri-food systems and triggered an unprecedented economic recession, resulting in a dramatic loss of livelihoods and incomes, as well as increased food insecurity and inequality.’

“The region’s agri-food system’s inability to deliver affordable, diverse, nutritious and safe food to all is exacerbating the situation.”

“That’s why FAO is shedding the light during World Food Day at Expo 2020 Dubai on the need to find innovative ways and modalities for international development cooperation, going beyond the transactional approach to achieve more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.”

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