Category: World Hunger

No More Broken Promises

 The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization conference, that took place in Rome, brought together national representatives committed to fighting hunger in the world. This is a subject that is especially close to the Argentinean Pope’s heart. On World Environment Day, recently, the Pope warned: “The food we throw away is as if stolen from the table of the poor, the hungry!” In his address, Francis did not limit himself to platitudes but invited the international community to take its responsibilities seriously: “This, I believe, is the significance of our meeting today: to share the idea that something more can and must be done in order to provide a new stimulus to international activity on behalf of the poor, inspired by something more than mere goodwill or, worse, promises which all too often have not been kept. Nor can the current global crisis continue to be used as an alibi. The crisis will not be completely over until situations and living conditions are examined in terms of the human person and human dignity,” the Pope said. In the speech he gave in Spanish, the Pope denounced the “scandalous” situation today, in which current levels of production are sufficient… to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table but, above all, to satisfy the demands of justice, fairness and respect for every human being,” Francis recalled.  The Pope also stressed his condemnation of “financial speculation,” as a factor which causes food prices to shoot through the roof “treating it like any other merchandise and overlooking its primary function.” This is an issue Benedict XVI had also addressed often during his pontificate. “What is demanded of FAO, its Member States, and every institution of the international community, is openness of heart. There is a need to move beyond indifference or a tendency to look the other way, and urgently attend to the immediate needs, confident that the fruits of today’s work will mature in the future,” the Pope added.  The Vatican’s Permanent Observer to FAO, stressed the importance of the organization’s programs, especially at the difficult economic situation the world is currently facing. Member States have the duty to continue providing FAO with the resources it needs, showing solidarity that is proportionate to the abilities and needs of each country.  

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