Pope: Fighting hunger with focus on those affected by poverty
Francis spoke today at the opening ceremony of the 42nd session of the Board of Governors of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The eradication of poverty, the fight against hunger and the promotion of food sovereignty will not be possible "without achieving rural development, a development that has been talked about for a long time but that has not come to fruition".
Rome (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis says that granting “direct agency to the people affected by poverty, without considering them as mere recipients of aid that can end up generating dependency" is the only option in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, in a world where 820 million people suffer from lack of access to food.
The Pope wanted to bring " the desires and needs of the multitude of our brothers who suffer in the world” to the opening ceremony of the 42nd session of the Board of Governors of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), held at the headquarters of the FAO, in Rome .
Upon his arrival, Francis was welcomed by the president of IFAD, Gilbert F. Houngbo. Then, after the signing of the Book of Honor and the exchange of gifts, he reached the room where the opening ceremony took place.
In his speech on the theme: "Innovations and entrepreneurial initiatives in the rural world", the Pope highlighted how in a society like ours that has achieved "great results" in different "fields of knowledge", millions of people in the world still "suffer from hunger and malnutrition". Men and women living in "precarious situations": " the air is contaminated, natural resources are depleted, the rivers polluted, the soils acidified; they do not have enough water for themselves or their crops; their sanitary infrastructures are very deficient, their houses scarce and defective. ".
The Holy See, he said, has always encouraged "the efforts made by international agencies to tackle poverty" and looks to the work of the Ifad with confidence to "create unprecedented possibilities", "to dispel any hesitation and put each people in a condition to face the needs that afflict it ".
With a not to the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular, "the eradication of poverty, the fight against hunger and the promotion of food sovereignty", the Pope highlighted that " none of this will be possible without achieving rural development, a development that has been talked about for a long time but that has not come to fruition". "It is paradoxical that most of the more than 820 million people suffering from hunger and malnutrition in the world live in rural areas, are dedicated to the production of food and is made up of peasants".
Speaking specifically on the theme to which Ifad dedicated the 42nd session of the Board of Governors: "It is necessary to wager on innovation, entrepreneurial capacity, the agency of local actors and the efficiency of productive processes to achieve rural transformation, in order to eradicate malnutrition and to develop the rural environment in a sustainable way. And in that context, it is necessary to promote a “science with conscience” and place technology truly at the service of the poor."
Faced with the problems that "negatively mark the destiny" of many individuals, in fact, it is necessary "to join forces, achieve consensus, strengthen ties. ". The current challenges, in fact, "are so intricate and complex that we can not continue confronting them occasionally, with emergency resolutions ".