Ankara, The Gulf Observer: Türkiye helped avert a global food crisis with a grain deal that allowed the export of Ukrainian grain to the international markets via the Black Sea, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
“With the Black Sea (grain) initiative initiated together with the UN, we prevented the danger of a global hunger crisis by ensuring that 33 million tons of grain products were shipped to world markets.
“We continue our efforts to alleviate the burden of regions at risk of hunger, especially Africa,” Erdogan said in a video message to address World Food Day 2023 event on Monday.
Türkiye, which is among the “most generous” countries in the world in terms of development aid, will not hesitate to assume responsibility for finding the solution to any problem, including food and water crises, the president added.
World Food Day is an international day celebrated every year worldwide on October 16 to commemorate the date of the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945.
This year’s theme is Water is Life, Water is Food. Leave No One Behind.
“We do not see any difference in nature between protecting our water and protecting our homeland. For this purpose, as the government, we have implemented many important projects that will guarantee the water and food security of our country in the last 21 years,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan said that humanity is gradually moving away from the “Zero Hunger in 2030” approach, which is among the most important topics of the UN Sustainable Development Goals .
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, one in every nine people in the world is struggling with hunger, the Turkish president said, adding: “However, 4 to 5 billion tons of food are produced annually worldwide.
While this amount is calculated to be enough for the world population predicted for 2050, unfortunately, it is not enough for today’s world population. Because 21 tons of the 127 tons of food produced every second around the world is wasted.”
On the other hand, he said, wasted food causes water resources to be consumed rapidly.
Erdogan also invited all his colleagues to take the initiative toward the goal of “zero food loss,” which is one of the components of the Zero Waste project initiated by Turkish first lady Emine Erdogan and turned into a global movement under the umbrella of the UN.
“Let’s start from today, October 16, World Food Day, not tomorrow, let’s protect our food and put an end to food waste,” Erdogan stressed.