Francis: hunger is not only a tragedy, but a shame for humanity


On World Food Day, the Pontiff again proposes the suggestion already made by Pope São Paulo VI in the “Popularium progressio” and contained in the encyclical “Fratelli tutti”, that is, the creation of a “World Fund” to definitively eliminate hunger with the money used in weapons and other military expenses.

Bianca Fraccalvieri – Vatican News

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Shameful: this is how the Pope defined the condition of millions of people in the world who have nothing to eat.

On October 16, World Food Day is celebrated, which this year coincides with the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

For this occasion, Pope Francis sent a message to the director general of the institution, Qu Dongyu, addressed also to all the members that compose it.

Commenting on the theme chosen for 2020 “Cultivate, nourish and preserve. Together. Our actions are our future ”, Francisco emphasizes the need to act together and with a firm purpose to generate initiatives that improve the environment.

“Over the course of those 75 years, FAO has learned that it is not enough to produce food, but it is also necessary to ensure food systems that are sustainable and offer healthy and accessible diets for everyone.”

In other words, it is about adopting innovative solutions that can transform the way we produce and consume food.


For the Pope, we live in a time of contradictions: on the one hand, we are witnesses of unprecedented progress in various fields of science; on the other, the world faces multiple humanitarian crises, with an increasing number of people fighting hunger and the pandemic is worsening.

Francisco then enters the heart of his speech with an appeal to responsibility:

“For humanity, hunger is not only a tragedy, but also a shame. In large part, it is caused by an uneven distribution of the fruits of the land, to which is added the lack of investments in the agricultural sector, the consequences of climate change and the increase in conflicts in various regions of the planet. On the other hand, tons of food are discarded. Given this reality, we cannot remain insensitive or paralyzed. We are all responsible. ”

Francisco reinforces the need for concrete policies and actions, as “dialectical or ideological discussions” move us away from the goal of eradicating hunger and allow “our brothers and sisters to continue to die from lack of food”.

The Pontiff again proposed the suggestion already made by Pope São Paulo VI in the Popularium progressio and contained in the encyclical Fratelli tutti, that is, the creation of a “World Fund” to definitively eliminate hunger with money used in weapons and other military expenses .

The Pope ends his message by expressing his hope that FAO’s activity will always be more incisive and fruitful, so that all “can live in dignity, with respect and love”.


In line with Pope Francis, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that “in a world of plenty, it is a serious affront that hundreds of millions of people go to bed hungry every night.”

Currently, 690 million people have nothing to eat. At the same time, more than 3 billion people cannot afford to eat a healthy diet.

Guterres also recalls the delivery of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Program, WFP, and the 75th anniversary of FAO, stating that the international community must take advantage of the date to “intensify efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Secretary-General convened for September next year, in the margins of the General Assembly, a Summit on Food Systems to inspire actions towards the Goals.

Message from the UN Secretary-General


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