Every year, on the day FAO was founded - October 16 - we celebrate World Food Day to raise awareness on the important issues around hunger, food security and agriculture. World Food Day 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of FAO in an exceptional moment, as countries worldwide are dealing with the global COVID-19 pandemic and its many impacts.
This global health crisis, however, has been a chance to reflect on one of our most basic needs: food. For many, this pandemic has increased the struggle to access nutritious food. For others, it may have rekindled an appreciation of it. FAO’s mandate, centred around the eradication of hunger, elimination of poverty and sustainable management of natural resources, has never been more important than in 2020 - and we are inviting you to learn more and promote how to reduce food waste and its prevention methods education in Hong Kong.
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Why was FAO created?
In the aftermath of the Second World War, there was a renewed emphasis on inter-governmental cooperation to solve problems through dialogue and to avoid world wars from ever happening again. Simultaneously, food and agriculture were big topics at the time: production slowed as farm workers went to the front line. Factories that produced fertilizers, pesticides and farm machinery were destroyed, and trade had almost ground to a halt. The agriculture sector was hurting, and many people around the world were going hungry. It was during this period that FAO came into being.
The original headquarters of FAO was in Washington D.C., USA, but it was decided that FAO would move to Rome, Italy. It seemed fitting as Rome had been the headquarters of its predecessor the International Institute of Agriculture, the very first intergovernmental organization to deal with issues of agriculture.
FAO moved to Rome in 1951 and the government of Italy provided a building in the centre of the city, where FAO still resides today. In fact, FAO’s building has a fascinating story!