10/15/2010, 00.00
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Pope says rich countries do too little against global hunger

In his message for World Food Day, Benedict XVI says that developed countries "should be aware that the increasing demands of the world they require substantial levels of support." Globalization and special interests, instead, push them to disregard the needs of "many brethren".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Rich countries must realize that if they do not increase aid to poor nations, the food crisis will not be resolved. Solidarity is "inadequate", while " concrete initiatives" are needed so that everyone can exercise the right to have daily food and water. "Amid the pressures of globalization, under the influence of interests that often remain fragmented," however, "too often, attention is diverted from the needs of populations, insufficient emphasis is placed on work in the fields, and the goods of the earth are not given adequate protection.  As a result, economic imbalance is produced, and the inalienable rights and dignity of every human person are ignored. " The hunger and thirst of "many brothers and sisters" at the core of his message for World Food Day which is celebrated tomorrow.

Quoting the theme, "United Against Hunger," the Pope writes in a message - addressed to the Director-General of FAO, Jacques Diouf - that If the international community is to be truly “united” against hunger, then poverty must be overcome through authentic human development, based on the idea of the person as a unity of body, soul and spirit". Everyone - from individuals to civil society organizations, states and international organizations - must give priority to one of the most urgent goals of the human family: freedom from hunger."

The fight against hunger must be fought through concrete initiatives "informed by charity, and inspired by truth," "that are able to overcome obstacles related to the natural cycles of the seasons or environmental conditions, as well as man-made obstacles." This will create conditions for a healthy circulation of the earth’s resources, and ultimately, peace.

In order to “sustain levels of food security in the short term, adequate funding must be provided so as to make it possible for agriculture to reactivate production cycles, despite the deterioration of climatic and environmental conditions.  These conditions, it must be said, have a markedly negative impact on rural populations, crop systems and working patterns, especially in countries that are already afflicted with food shortages.. "

In this context, the developed countries "have to be aware that the world’s growing needs require consistent levels of aid from them. They cannot simply remain closed towards others: such an attitude would not help to resolve the crisis".

The World Day, however, has highlighted the need for " an adequate response both from individual countries and from the international community, even when the response is limited to assistance or emergency aid”.

And referring to the campaign "1 billion hungry people," promoted by the United Nations to sensitize the public about the urgency of fighting hunger, Benedict XVI concluded by saying that it has highlighted the need for an adequate response both from individual countries and from the international community, even when the response is limited to assistance or emergency aid”.

This is why, " a reform of international institutions according to the principle of subsidiarity is essential, since “institutions by themselves are not enough, because integral human development is primarily a vocation, and therefore it involves a free assumption of responsibility in solidarity on the part of everyone”.

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