Pope urges greater solidarity to combat hunger

Pope Francis, in a message to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization conference on 3 July, has urged those in authority to come together in a culture of solidarity to combat hunger and malnutrition.

In a message read out by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, the pope said: “All of us realize that the intention to provide everyone with his or her daily bread is not enough. Rather, there is a need to recognize that all have a right to it and they must, therefore, benefit from it.” He then added that unfulfilled proposals to combat malnutrition were “largely dependent on the lack of a culture of solidarity.”

The pope encouraged the international community to acknowledge “the right of every person to be free of poverty and hunger depends on the duty of the entire human family to provide practical assistance to those in need….since the goods that God the creator has entrusted to us are meant for all, there is an urgent need for solidarity to be the criterion inspiring all forms of cooperation in international relations.”

In addition to the work already carried out by the church to speak up for the poor and provide aid and assistance for their needs, the pope will make a “symbolic contribution” to the FAO program that provides seeds to families living in areas affected by conflicts and drought.