Dr Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement to mark World Food Day on 16 October:
For some years now hunger has been increasing again worldwide, after decades in which numbers were falling. The recent trend has been further accelerated by the COVID‑19 pandemic. This should give us all pause for thought.
Germany is leading the way in the fight against hunger; it has now increased its humanitarian funding to around 2.5 billion euro. I call on all governments to make every effort to fight hunger together. Conflict is the primary cause of hunger. And so I call in particular on the parties involved in conflict in regions around the world to lay down their arms and work towards a peaceful resolution.
We do not want to give up on the goal of a world without hunger. It is vital that we remain steadfast in our efforts to reach this goal.
Since 1979, the United Nations has used every 16 October to remind the world how many millions of people around the globe suffer from hunger and malnutrition. This date was chosen because it is the day that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was established in 1945 as a specialised agency of the United Nations. One of FAO’s core tasks is to promote food security.
Despite advances in the fight against hunger in recent decades, United Nations figures indicate that at least 155 million people worldwide still suffered from acute food insecurity in 2020. Every day, thousands of people die from the effects of chronic malnutrition. Many of these are children under the age of five.
To address the steadily rising number of people going hungry and contribute to the fight against hunger, the Federal Foreign Office is making food assistance a priority of its humanitarian assistance work. As in previous years, it is the Federal Foreign Office’s largest humanitarian funding area. The most important partner in this field is the World Food Programme (WFP).