On Friday October 16, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization celebrates World Food Day each year, the day on which the Organization was founded in 1945.
- 3% of the world’s population is hungry. That’s roughly 805 million people who go undernourished on a daily basis, consuming less than the recommended 2,100 calories a day;
- The world produces enough food to feed all 7 billion people, but those who go hungry (11.3% of the population) either do not have land to grow food or money to purchase it;
- Poverty is the principal cause of hunger.
Social protection has been chosen as the theme of this year’s World Food Day (WFD) to highlight its importance in reducing rural poverty and granting access to food or means to buy food.
People are food insecure when they don’t have regular access to sufficient nutritious food needed to lead active and healthy lives. Access to food not only depends on food availability but also on people’s ability to produce or purchase food.
Social protection can therefore be described as a blend of policies, programs and interventions aimed at protecting poor and food insecure people or those who may be vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity.
Types of social protection:
- Social assistance programs are those that distribute cash or vouchers or in-kind contributions to vulnerable families (i.e. School feeding is a form of social assistance. Thanks to regular meals offered to schoolchildren, school feeding programs encourage children attendance while enhancing their diets and improving their ability to concentrate);
- Social insurance programs are typically financed by contributions from employees, employers and from the state. In this scheme people protect themselves against risks (sickness, accidents, etc.) by pooling resources with a larger number of similarly exposed individuals or households;
- Labor market programs provide unemployment benefits, build skills, and enhance workers’ productivity and employability.
Help spread awareness about this observance day:
- Participate in events here;
- Spread the word on social media using the hashtag #WFD2015.