World Food Day - 16 October 2023
World Food Day - 16 October 2023
15 October 2023 (Budapest, Hungary) – Access to food, clean water and safe shelter are absolutely essential for everyone on the planet, but even more imperative for those that have fled the war in Ukraine. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Hungary’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Survey with Refugees from Ukraine: Needs, Intentions and Integration Challenges Q2 2023, food assistance is still among the top five priority needs (35%) mentioned by new arrivals from Ukraine.
“As part of our ongoing emergency response to the crisis in Ukraine, IOM has been steadfast in extending various forms of food assistance to those families desperately fleeing the conflict. IOM Hungary prioritizes vulnerable groups, including elderly, people with disabilities, large families and families with young children. These groups often have specific needs and may require extra assistance. Such dedicated support is crucial during a crisis situation to ensure the well-being and dignity of displaced people.” – Dániel Bagaméri, Head of Office, IOM Hungary
Close to 13000 hot meal vouchers were distributed by IOM Hungary directly to families in need, and through shelters operated by its NGO partners. These vouchers could be used at specific restaurants, providing an alternative to cooking at home and some variety in their meals. Monthly grocery vouchers were distributed to families in mid-term shelters to ensure that families had a consistent source of food throughout their stay and to allow families to choose products according to their personal needs. In its transit shelter, IOM continues to provide breakfast for those who are staying temporarily to ensure that individuals and families have access to at least one meal per day. To date, 2,594 people received hot meals and food packages. In addition, the organization has also been supporting the activities of the Food Bank Aid Foundation since September 2022 to address the on-going nutritional needs for those staying in Hungary, not just those arriving or in transit.
“Since the early days of assisting Ukrainian refugees at the train station in Budapest, we soon realized the desperate need to provide food for the hungry and the food bank was established. This should be a world without hunger!” - Food Bank Aid Foundation
The Food Bank Aid Foundation has a direct, positive impact on the everyday survival needs of displaced people from Ukraine, including third-country nationals. The Foundation is a local nonprofit with a strong expat base in Budapest supporting displaced people from Ukrainian with partial coverage of their basic needs such as long-life food items, fresh food (including vegetables and fruit), hygiene items and vouchers on a weekly basis for 100 households (approx. 300 beneficiaries) every Thursday. Food Bank applies a vulnerability approach for beneficiary selection. Space is also provided for social inclusion and community activities such as the popular weekly Café on Tuesdays 14:00-17:00 to ALL Ukrainian refugees (creche available during this time) - not only the recipients that are included in the food bank programme. This gives refugees the opportunity to gather important information and share knowledge, but more importantly, to relax over light refreshments and develop their temporary community.
World Food Day takes place annually on 16 October and promotes awareness of hunger and action for the future of food, people, and the planet. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) designated 16 October as World Food Day in 1979.
IOM Hungary gratefully acknowledges in particular the continued financial support of the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and the Government of Japan that make its food provision activities possible.