United Nations World Food Day is celebrated around the world on October 16 under the theme: “Our Actions ARE Our Future. Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World
”. This theme is timely, especially, because across Africa and around the world, there has been a gradual rise in malnutrition and diet-related non communicable diseases, as highlighted in The Lancet
study and a United Nations Report
published earlier this year.
Around the world, citizens took to the streets to demand their governments address climate change
. In the U.S., this widespread activism illustrates the findings of a newly released report
by the Chicago Council on Global affairs which found for the first time that the majority of Americans consider climate change a threat and the most critical foreign policy issue facing the country.
“It has never happened before,” is a sentence that is becoming excessively common in the news due to a changing climate where new extremes are becoming normal.
The U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green recently concluded a one-week visit to USAID-funded programs
at several African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Kenya and Mozambique. His goal was to promote sustainable paths to self-reliance, including in the context of food security programs.
The latest UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s annual Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition Report
highlighted drought as one of the key factors contributing to the continuing rise in the number of hungry people in sub-Saharan Africa. And in South Africa, the Government’s Crop Estimates Committee announced that the country would harvest 20 percent less maize
in 2019 because of drought conditions.
Recently, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva urged countries, scientists, policymakers and stakeholders invested in building an equitable, sustainable, and thriving planet to pay attention to the soil. He further noted that the future of the planet depends on how healthy the soils of today are.
In the United States, the 21 young people who are plaintiffs in the case Juliana v. United States
will soon make their case against the government for failing to take action against climate change. Similar lawsuits have been filed in countries including Portugal
, and Pakistan
London’s Waterloo Bridge over the River Thames is famously known as the “Ladies Bridge,” for it was built largely by women during the height of World War II. On another continent, women fighting a different war have built an equally remarkable structure: a 3,300-meter anti-salt dyke constructed by a women’s association in Senegal to reclaim land affected by rising levels of salt water.