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Dr Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement to mark World Food Day on 16 October 2018:
Natural disasters, crises and conflicts are causing hunger and malnutrition in many parts of the world. The United Nations estimates that 821 million people are currently suffering from hunger. Children die every day from the effects of malnutrition. That makes me both sad and angry. Today’s World Food Day reminds us all that much more has to be done in order to banish hunger and malnutrition. The most recent Global Hunger Index published last week demonstrates this in a quite alarming way:
The situation in 51 countries is “serious” to “extremely alarming”.
Chronic undernourishment and malnutrition have an acute and long-term impact – both on the health of those affected and on the stability and development of entire societies. That is why Germany has been working with its partners for many years at national and international level to fight hunger. Food assistance is one of the focuses of Germany’s humanitarian aid efforts: last year, the Federal Foreign Office provided some 700 million euros to projects that address hunger and malnutrition around the world. Furthermore, Germany is contributing to the development of instruments which enable us to provide humanitarian assistance at the earliest possible stage before a drought leads to famine.
Today’s World Food Day should spur us on to increase our efforts to ensure that the right to food is realised and the basic human need for sufficient food met around the world – no-one should suffer hunger.
Since 1979, the United Nations has used this day to remind the world how many millions of people around the globe suffer from hunger and malnutrition. This date was chosen because it was on this day in 1945 that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was established. One of its core tasks, as a specialised agency of the United Nations, is to foster food security. Despite advances in the fight against hunger during the last few decades, United Nations figures indicate that nearly 821 million people worldwide still suffer from malnutrition. Every day, thousands of people die from the effects of chronic malnutrition. More than half of these are children under the age of five.