Pope Francis: Beyond reports, action vs hunger more important
MANILA, Philippines – Annual reports on the global state of food security are “of little use” if obligations and actions are neglected against hunger, Pope Francis said during an international conference organized by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) on Thursday, June 11.
“Instead of being impressed by the data, let us today change our relationship with natural resources, the use of land; let us change consumption patterns, without falling into the slavery of consumerism; let us eliminate waste, for that way we will conquer hunger,” he said in Italian.
More actions should be done instead of the usual “delegating at all levels.”
“We think that someone else will do something about it, perhaps another country, or some government, or an international organization,” Francis emphasized. “Our tendency to ‘go missing’ in the face of difficult issues is human yet we do not miss a meeting, or a conference, or the drafting of a document.”
The creation of a sense of global solidarity to ensure food security and end hunger is important, the Holy Father stressed in front of delegates from 120 countries, as the number of people with little to no access to adequate food is increasing.
The attitude of seeing hunger as an “unpopular topic” and a problem that cannot be solved within presidential administrations should be stopped. Through solidarity, solutions and best practices may be passed among countries who need it.
“If all member states work for one another, consensus for action will not be long in arriving and FAO’s original role will be rediscovered,” he stressed.
The leader of the world’s largest religious sector has always pointed out the need for hunger mitigation to be a top priority. He has been urging countries and organizations to act on the problem since he became pope in March 2013. (READ: Pope Francis: Feed the hungry, save lives)
In October 2014, Pope Francis released a video message challenging people to end hunger by 2025, and condemned institutions that hinder the flow of resources.
Meanwhile, in November, he lamented in a United Nations conference on nutrition how the problem of hunger is less prioritized due to greed.
Citing the worrying fact that one-third of the world’s food is put to waste, he urged people to “commit more decisively to changing lifestyle” and use natural resources in a more sustainable way.
“Sobriety is not in opposition to development,” he said. “Indeed it is now clear that the one is a necessary condition for the other."
The use of agricultural lands in other ways than for food production should be reconsidered as these resources should be primarily focused on providing the needs of the world’s hungry.
This, Francis said, stripped farmers – especially family farmers – of their “essential asset” and may result in poverty as they are left with neither food nor land.
“It is disconcerting to know that a large quantity of agricultural products are used for other purposes, which may be good ones but do not respond to the immediate needs of a hungry person,” Francis emphasized.
Continue fighting hunger
Personal actions are also important in eliminating hunger. Any move, whether big or small, can contribute to the future where no person goes to bed on an empty stomach.
“If we want to change lifestyles, we must start from our daily life, aware that our small gestures can ensure the sustainability and future of the human family,” Francis said.
“Let us continue the fight against hunger without ulterior motives,” he added. – Rappler.com