The theme of this year's World Food Day will be 'International Alliance Against Hunger,' emphasising the need for global mobilisation to create the political will to eradicate hunger, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) announced recently.
"How is it possible in this day and age that so many of our fellow human beings remain hungry?" said FAO director-general Jacques Diouf when announcing the theme of the day, held each year on 16 October to commemorate the agency's founding in 1945 in Quebec City, and observed in more than 150 countries.
"Nations must turn verbal commitments to fight hunger into practical programmes," he said.
TeleFood, a public-awareness and fund-raising campaign including television shows and other special events organised by FAO, will coincide with World Food Day to heighten attention about global hunger and to focus attention on achieving food security for all.
An international alliance against hunger will 'bring together the strengths of different groups from all over the world to gain momentum to achieve the common goal of eliminating hunger in all its forms,' said the FAO.
The alliance will include partners such as food producers, international organisations, governments, and scientists.
At the 1996 World Food Summit in Rome, representatives from 185 nations and the European Community set a goal of cutting the number of hungry people by half by 2015. Some 840 million people still suffer from hunger and malnutrition in the world.
At the opening session of the World Congress of Food Science and Technology in Chicago on 16 July this year, Catherine Bertini - currently under-secretary general of the United Nations - received the 2003 World Food Prize. Bertini was recompensed for her leadership of the United Nations World Food Programme, which has saved millions of people from famine and death.
"Ms Bertini has been selected as the 2003 World Food Prize Laureate for defeating large-scale famine in our time," said Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation.