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President Pahor with UN World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley on World Hunger Day and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Ljubljana, 17. 10. 2020 | press release

Today, President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor spoke on the telephone with David Beasley, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme. The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation involved in the fight against hunger and in the promotion of food security. The conversation took place in the light of World Hunger Day, observed on 16 October, and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, observed on 17 October.

On behalf of the Republic of Slovenia, President Pahor congratulated Executive Director Beasley for the Nobel Peace Prize awarded this year to the World Food Programme. The Slovenian President said the WFP receiving the most prestigious international prize demonstrates the importance of the fight against hunger for the preservation of peace and security. In 2019, the World Food Programme helped almost 100 million people in 88 countries who are suffering from hunger and a shortage of food, stated the Norwegian Nobel Committee in its announcement.

During the conversation, President Pahor added that he considered the decision of the Nobel Committee a recognition of the WFP’s past work, but also a reminder of the importance of the WFP in the near future due to the consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Director Beasley strongly agreed with this assessment and estimated that the developing world will not be the only one to experience COVID-19 consequences, as the developed world will not be spared from feeling the effects and the international community must thoroughly prepare for this in 2021 and 2022.

President Pahor availed himself of the opportunity to invite Executive Director Beasley to visit Slovenia.

Slovenia is participating in the international efforts to eradicate poverty and ensure food security and, in the last six years, Slovenia doubled its funding for this purpose. Slovenia regularly contributes to the World Food Pogramme to eliminate hunger in South Sudan, Yemen and Uganda. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people suffering from hunger and poverty increased dramatically, which is why Slovenia increased its humanitarian aid also through the World Food Programme.

The World Food Programme is one the world’s largest and most efficient organisations and Slovenia will continue to support its work in the future.

Every year, World Food Day is observed on 16 October. On this day in 1945, the Organization for Food and Agriculture was founded within the United Nations. World Food Day 2020 revolves around the slogan "Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together”. The UN General Assembly declared 17 October the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty in 1992. This year, the theme is “Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all”.

Both days are observed in a time of great uncertainty this year due to the new coronavirus crisis. According to the WFP, poverty rate is expected to double, which would seriously jeopardise the efforts for its eradication by 2030. The Republic of Slovenia is participating in the international efforts to eradicate severe poverty through humanitarian aid within the World Food Programme.

President Pahor with UN World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley on World Hunger Day and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Photo: UPRS