Press Release

Celebrating World Food Day in Skopje, October 16, 2020

16 October 2020

  • On the occasion of World Food Day, in Kinoteka of North Macedonia, in Skopje today, FAO and the CSO Slow Food Vodno organized the first Food Film Festival - "Through the Lens of Food", under the slogan ‘’Grow, Nourish, Sustain, Together - Our Actions are Our Future.
World food day poster

Each year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) marks World Food Day on October 16 to observe the founding of the Organization in 1945. This year FAO marks its 75th Anniversary, aligned with the spirit of the UN’s 75th commemoration, at an exceptional moment when countries around the world are dealing with the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 150 countries around the world, including North Macedonia, hold events marking World Food Day to promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all.

This year's World Food Day calls for strong action to achieve #ZeroHunger and better nutrition by 2030, through stronger partnerships and collaboration to transform our food systems and change the way in which food is produced, processed, traded, consumed, and wasted.

On the occasion of World Food Day, in Kinoteka of North Macedonia, in Skopje today, FAO and the CSO Slow Food Vodno organized the first Food Film Festival - "Through the Lens of Food", under the slogan ‘’Grow, Nourish, Sustain, Together - Our Actions are Our Future.

Through several short videos and four documentaries, the Food Film Festival conveyed the message about the importance of local food producers, preserving biodiversity and protecting the natural environment. The festival’s repertoire includes „Dining with…Macedonia” by Mirjana Momirovikj, „Lake of apples” by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, „Slow food story” by Stefano Cardo and „Barolo Boys” by Paolo Casalis and Tiziano Gaia, as well as several FAO videos focusing on the importance of increasing the resilience and sustainability of food systems and ensuring affordable and healthy nutrition for all.

“The purpose of the Food Film Festival is simple: to educate people through film - to start thinking more about food and the choices they make every day, not only for themselves, but for the Planet as well. Moreover, we want to motivate, to encourage film makers to document the stories of our local food producers who have so much to tell”, said Marjan Kostadinovski from Slow Food Vodno.

This year’s World Food Day is no ordinary day. It comes as the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed the fragility of our agri-food systems; threatens to push millions more into hunger; has made many of us reawaken our appreciation for food: what some take for granted and many go without; but has also provided an opportunity to transform an agri-food system that is out of balance.

In her opening remarks, UN Resident Coordinator in North Macedonia, Rossana Dudziak, stressed that food is the essence of life and the bedrock of our cultures and communities. Preserving access to safe and nutritious food is and will continue to be an essential part of the response to COVID-19, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable who are hardest hit by the pandemic and will be most affected by resulting economic shocks.  According to Dudziak, we can win against COVID-19 if we act together! She added that it’s a time to make food systems more resilient so they can survive the next challenge, by bringing innovation, digitalization and e-commerce into the hands of the world’s food chain workers and smallholder farmers, who produce about 80 percent of the world’s food.

Nabil Gangi, FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia through a video message pointed out that in the 75 years since the founding of FAO, the world has made great progress in the fight against poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. “Agricultural productivity and agri-food systems have come a long way. Still, too many people remain vulnerable. Even before the pandemic, more than 2 billion people did not have regular access to enough safe, nutritious food. Nearly 700 million people go to bed hungry”- he added. According to Gangi, the COVID-19 pandemic has added to these challenges - reminding everyone that food security and nutritious diets matter to all. He stressed that World Food Day this year celebrates our food heroes - farmers and workers throughout the food system - who are making sure that food makes its way from farm to fork even amid the current COVID-19 crisis. “More than ever, governments, private sector and individuals need to work on innovative solutions, strong partnerships and systemic action to get the food to those who need it and improve it for those who have it.

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, Arjanit Hoxha, in his welcoming speech highlighted that more than ever we are aware of the importance of local food producers. According to him, secure access to safe and nutritious food for all is most important, especially in such difficult ccircumstances as the COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed that the Republic of North Macedonia, as part of the UN family and member of FAO, remains committed to implementing projects and programmes aimed at reducing poverty and improving the living standard in rural areas, in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals and the country’s European Union integration.

Today we celebrate #FoodHeroes and call on the public to become food heroes themselves. We all have a role to play to realize the vision of a world without hunger and malnutrition. We must not undermine our sustainable habits in times of crisis. We can grow, nourish, and sustain our world – TOGETHER. OUR ACTIONS ARE OUR FUTURE – was the key message share at the World Food Day event in Skopje.

World Food Day:

FAO Brochure:  World Food Day 2020 - Grow, nourish, sustain. Together. Our actions are our future

World Food Day Spot   

Radmila Slavkova

Radmila Slavkova

National Communication Specialist

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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