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UAE marks world food day

posted on 16/10/2009: 930 views

The UAE will today join the international community in marking the World Food Day at a time when hungry persons are increasing due to a raft of disasters and other factors.

This year's World Food Day theme: "Achieving food security in times of crisis" is a true reflection of the deep worry over the world food security under the host of challenges and crises. The international financial crisis has shown how the world food security system is fragile in most countries in the world.

The crisis has added more than 100 million people to the legion of those suffering from malnutrition, representing over one billion people.

On this occasion, H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, said despite the tireless efforts made by the international community to improve the world food security over the recent years along with slump in prices of foodstuff in 2008 but the factors causing the world food crisis like low farming output, rapid increase in population, water scarcity, low investment in agricultural development and research, and high production of biofuel are still out there.

These factors, he added, would not allow the world to achieve its goals to reduce the number of hungry people by half by 2015.

Speaking about the UAE efforts to achieve food security, the minister said the country has raised self-sufficiency to 95% in dates, 79% in fish, 25% in vegetables, 18% in red meat and poultry products, 52% in table eggs, and 95% in fresh milk.

The UAE, he affirmed has made this remarkable success in self-sufficiency despite its harsh climate, soil poverty and lack of resources.

'Access to food is one of the key human rights and delivery of balanced, health food to all population in the UAE constitutes a basic part of its commitment towards its citizens and expatriate residents,'he said.

The minister said the UAE was committed to the international efforts to fight poverty and hunger and urged advanced countries to honour their commitments towards countries facing food insecurity.

'The UAE calls on the upcoming world food summit in Rome next month to make a true overall review of the causes of hunger in the world in order to find solutions to them and build an active international coalition to handle food security crises,'the minister said.

The World Summit on Food Security to be held in Rome from 16 to 18 November aims to keep the challenge of food insecurity on top of the international agenda so that the right to food, the most basic of human rights, be respected.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October, the day on which the Organization was founded in 1945.

The objectives of World Food Day are to: encourage attention to agricultural food production and to stimulate national, bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental efforts to this end; encourage economic and technical cooperation among developing countries; encourage the participation of rural people, particularly women and the least privileged categories, in decisions and activities influencing their living conditions; heighten public awareness of the problem of hunger in the world; promote the transfer of technologies to the developing world; and strengthen international and national solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty and draw attention to achievements in food and agricultural development. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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