World Food Day 2015 Celebration in Viet Nam
15 October 2015
Lao Cai, 15 Oct 2015 - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Viet Nam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) celebrated the 35th World Food Day in northern Lao Cai province today, the focus of a FAO-led joint UN programme on integrated nutrition and food security to end malnutrition and stunting.
This celebration, attended by FAO Representative in Viet Nam Mr. JongHa Bae, Vice Minister of MARD Mr. Le Quoc Doanh, Vice Chairman of Lao Cai People's Committee Mr. Dang Xuan Phong and representatives of related State institutions, provincial leaders and farmers, also comes as FAO celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding, with the theme "Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty".
FAO has made real progress in fighting global hunger and poverty in recent decades and contributed to Viet Nam's achievement of a number of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ahead of schedule. During 2009-2014, more than one million people escaped hunger and the country's poverty rate fell to 6 per cent.
"With the World Food Day theme this year 'Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty', Viet Nam is making efforts to move towards the 2020 goal to basically form a social protection system covering the entire population to ensure people have jobs, a minimum income, social insurance, guarantees to support those people with difficulties, such as children with special needs, low income people, the disabled and the poor to ensure access to basic social services," said Mr. Le Quoc Doanh.
Viet Nam will continue to focus efforts on maintaining and enhancing the MDGs, while at the same time moving forward a more sustainable and comprehensive development model. However, ensuring these achievements are obtained for all social groups, especially vulnerable group remains a major challenge.
"With most poor and hungry people still living in rural areas and dependent on agriculture, twinning social protection with agricultural development programmes makes compelling sense. This is why FAO chose social protection and agriculture as the theme of World Food Day this year," said Mr. JongHa Bae.
"FAO is committed to helping our member countries achieve this. We are determined to break the cycle of rural poverty by linking social protection to improvements in agricultural production with a backstop when things go wrong," he said.
Social protection programmes on their own are not enough to move people out of poverty, food insecurity or malnutrition as they do not address the structural causes of these problems. That is why social protection programmes should be linked to productivity-enhancing measures that sustainably improve farm incomes and nutrition as well as provide jobs and supply social and public services such as education and health care. This year with the 70-year anniversary of the United Nations and new Sustainable Development Goals SDGs, there is a mandate to ending hunger and extending social protection.
After the ceremony, a field training on crop production was held to introduce productivity-enhancing measures to improve farmer incomes in the province's Bat Xat district as part of the World Food Day ceremony this year.