World Food Day (WFD) is celebrated across 150 countries yearly on 16 October. The theme for 2023 is Water is life, water is food: leave no one behind. The campaign intents to raise awareness worldwide on water as a foundation of life and food. According to the United Nations (UN), 2.3 billion people live in water-stressed countries, while 3.2 billion people live in agricultural areas with high water scarcity. These water constraints have a negative impact on food security and nutrition.
In South Africa a notable proportion of the population is food insecure, for instance, from almost 18 million households, 15% and 6% respectively have inadequate and severe inadequate access to food. Over 60% of these households were in urban areas, with the City of Cape Town (11,6%) and the City of Johannesburg (11,5%) having the highest proportions of households that experienced hunger in all the six metros. Urban food insecurity is characterised by low dietary diversity, high malnutrition and obesity, and distinct hunger seasons. It is estimated that by 2050, eight in 10 people will be living in urban areas, which means that the prevalence of food insecurity within urban Southern African communities will increase. There is therefore an urgent need to develop policies and solutions to address this “looming crisis” and to manage the water-food nexus in a more sustainable and equitable manner.
In light of this, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the Green Youth Network (GYN) have partnered to host a webinar to commemorate WFD 2023. The theme of the webinar is Opportunities towards Sustainable Food Security in South African Urban Settings and will be held on 27 October 2023 from 10:00 to 11:30 (SAST). The webinar aims to explore youth driven solutions to strengthen food security in South African urban settings while preserving and managing water in a sustainable manner. The dialogue will engage on the status of food security in South African cities/urban areas; and explore and showcase solutions by the youth, that have a potential to strengthen food security in South African urban areas and cities, taking into consideration the challenge of water scarcity. We invite academics, researchers, entrepreneurs, women, youth, policy makers as well as members of the public to be in attendance.
Zoom registration link: