World Food Day is celebrated every year on 16 October. We all have a role to play to realize the vision of a world without hunger and malnutrition. We must not let sustainable habits fall by the wayside in times of crisis. We can make healthy food choices and do our part to reduce food waste. In addition, governments, enterprises, and organizations can share their knowledge and support sustainable, resilient food systems and livelihoods. Together, we can grow, nourish, and sustain our world.

2023 Theme: Water is life, water is food. Leave no one behind

Water is essential to life on Earth. It makes up over 50% of our bodies and covers about  71% of the Earth’s surface. Only 2.5% of water is fresh, suitable for drinking, agriculture, and most industrial uses. Water is a driving force for people, economies and nature and the foundation of our food. Indeed, agriculture accounts for 72% of global freshwater withdrawals, but like all natural resources, fresh water is not infinite.

Rapid population growth, urbanization, economic development, and climate change are putting the planet’s water resources under increasing stress. At the same time, freshwater resources per person have declined 20% in the past decades and water availability and quality are deteriorating fast due to decades of poor use and management, over extraction of groundwater, pollution and climate change. We risk stretching this precious resource to a point of no return.

Today, 2.4 billion people live in water-stressed countries. Many are smallholder farmers who already struggle to meet their daily needs, particularly women, Indigenous Peoples, migrants, and refugees. Competition for this priceless resource is increasing as water scarcity becomes an ever-increasing cause of conflict.

Around 600 million people who depend, at least partially, on aquatic food systems for a living are suffering the effects of pollution, ecosystem degradation, unsustainable practices and climate change.

UN Secretary-General Video Message for World Food Day 2023

Food Systems and the Environment

The way we produce and consumer food is deeply connected to our environment. While food is of course at the center of SDG2 – Zero Hunger, it is also an important component to achieve all Sustainable Development Goals. Transforming our food systems is essential to address the triple planetary crisis of biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution that we are facing today.

Role of Geneva

Our dedicated page on Food Systems and the Environment dives deeper into issues at this nexus and lists relevant actions and actors in the Geneva region. Find out more below.


Jeu de Piste - Youth Challenge Games on Agrifood Systems Transformation

16 October 2023 | 11:00 – 17:00 CEST | Uni Mail | FAO Geneva, University of Geneva, Ma-Terre

Global World Food Day 2023 Celremony

16 October 2023 | 10:00 CEST | FAO Headquarters (Rome) & Online

Managing Water through Agroecology

16 October 2023 | 14:00 – 15:30 CEST | Palais des Nations, Room H-209 & Online | Zoom


World Food Forum 2023 Photo Exhibition Launch Event

17 October 2023 | 14:00 – 15:00 CEST | FAO Geneva | Palais des Nations, Serpent Bar

Junior World Food Day 2023 Celebration

19 October 2023 | 14:00 CEST | FAO Headquarters (Rome) & Online

Climate Action in Emergency and Humanitarian Livelihood Assistance

20 October 2023 | 10:00 – 11:00 CEST | FAO | Online, Zoom

Swiss Agroecology Days 2023

15 – 16 October 2023 | Agroecology works!

À table! Mangeons local et durable

Until 22 October 2023 | City of Geneva

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