The events celebrated and recognised the heroes of Cox’s Bazar who have kept food supply chains open and the delivery of humanitarian assistance running during the Covid-19 pandemic
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on Thursday distributed agricultural inputs to farmers and hosted a farmers’ market in Cox’s Bazar.
The events were organized to mark the World Food Day and highlight the need to invest in local food production systems, said a media statement.
The events celebrated and recognised the heroes of Cox’s Bazar who have kept food supply chains open and the delivery of humanitarian assistance running during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have distributed animal feed and fruit seedlings to our food heroes, recognizing their exceptional work in boosting food production. FAO is working with the Government of Bangladesh to support 25,000 farmers and 1,200 farmers groups in Cox’s Bazar,” said Marco De Gaetano, head of FAO’s Cox’s Bazar office.
The Farmers’ Market was a demonstration of the WFP Farmers’ Market in the Rohingya camps which engaged local suppliers – a mixture of WFP and FAO-supported farmers as well as private sector suppliers – to provide and sell the produce, the statement read.
The event was also aimed to improve economic opportunities for the host community. It is also one of the first interventions to bring together the host community and Rohingyas in one space helping to promote social cohesion, it said.
“The Farmers’ Market generates an average of Tk1.5 crore per month in sales which is money going back straight into the local economy and supporting sustainable food systems,” said Sheila Grudem, WFP’s senior emergency coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.
“Smallholder farmers are an integral part of sustainable food systems and we are proud to support farmers here not only as they start and grow their businesses but also in providing market linkages to make it a sustainable livelihood,” Sheila Grudem added.
This year, many countries have been impacted by the socio-economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic – particularly loss of earnings and remittances – which is heightening existing threats to global hunger. The number of acutely hungry people in the world could increase by more than 100 million this year, according to WFP-FAO estimates.
WFP and FAO called for global action to improve the systems that produce and distribute the food we eat, so that people can better withstand shocks, including the Covid-19 pandemic, to avoid alarming surges in the level of hunger around the globe.
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.
Collective action across 150 countries is what makes World Food Day one of the most celebrated days in the UN calendar. Hundreds of events and outreach activities bring together governments, businesses, NGOs, the media, and the general public.
They promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all.