Grand empty-dish banquet in France to mark World Food Day

12:31, October 17, 2010      

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Grand empty-dish banquets are being held all over France Saturday to publicize the 10,000 children who die each day of malnutrition worldwide.

The initiative has the support of the Humanitarian Aid Department of the European Commission and Action Against Hunger.

In Paris, a "Banquet of Hunger" took place on Champs de Mars under the Eiffel Tower, with 10,000 empty dishes on a black table cloth on the ground. Fifty voluntary workers spent a whole night setting the two-kilometre long table cloth despite cold and rain.

Similar action took place in 27 cities across the country to coincide with World Food Day. The UN-mandated day is observed each year on Oct. 16 and is designed to increase awareness, understanding and year-round action to alleviate hunger.

A photo exhibition and a series of information boards are associated with the banquet, with professional field workers providing guidance. The public is invited to leave their messages on the empty dishes as support.

According to the World Health Organisation, malnutrition is at present the most serious threat to health in the world. Every year it kills more than 3.5 million children aged under 5, and 55 million children in general.

Today, 925 million people are suffering from hunger and the figure is growing across the world, according to the latest report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program.

Source: Xinhua


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