Today, October 16, is the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s World Food Day which recognizes the sad fact of steady increase in hunger since 2014 together with rising obesity due to  poor nutrition, clearly indicates the need to accelerate and scale up actions to strengthen food systems and protect people’s livelihoods.

The FAO notes that smallholder farmers need greater access to finance, training, innovation and technology to improve their livelihoods, and that is exactly what Bread and Water for Africa® is doing in sub-Saharan African counties including Kenya where the Baraka Farm provides practical dairy training to small holder dairy farmers in the community teaching them best practices and how to get the most production from their small herds.

Bread and Water for Africa ®knows all too well that without food security, Africa’s future will be in jeopardy. In Sierra Leone, working with our longtime partner, Faith  Healing Development Organization (FHDO), we have supported their efforts to provide hundreds of small holder farmers – primarily women – with the information, materials and seeds to grow cassava (a starchy root vegetable that is a staple in the country) and other vegetables and fruits to feed their family as well as selling any surplus they may have at local markets.

In addition, thanks to our supporters we are able to provide grant funding to FHDO as well as farming equipment to operate their 100-acre rice farm (another Sierra Leone food staple) as well as assisting in the construction of the its poultry production facility which provides chickens to families at prices they can afford.

Most recently, we are currently raising funds for our partner in Zambia, the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre, to construct a greenhouse and chicken coop to provide healthy food for the dozens of children living there as well as selling surplus at local markets.

According to the FAO, over 2 billion people do not have regular access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food including countless millions living in sub-Saharan Africa. The global population is expected to reach almost 10 billion by 2050.

Nearly 690 million people are hungry, up 10 million since 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic could add between 83-132 million people to this number, depending on the economic growth scenario, according to the FAO.

Collective action across 150 countries is what makes World Food Day one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. Hundreds of events and outreach activities bring together governments, businesses, NGOs, the media, and general public. They promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all.

World Food Day 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of FAO in an exceptional moment as countries around the world deal with the widespread effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a time to look into the future we need to build together.