Pope on World Food Day: In a world at war put fraternity first
By Linda Bordoni
“Leave no one behind” is the theme of World Food Day, marked on 16 October 2022.
A theme, Pope Francis pointed out in a message to the Director of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that poses many challenges, in particular today, as “unfortunately, we are also living in a context of war, which we could call a 'third world war'.”
He recalled that the observance takes place as the UN agency marks 77 years since it was established to respond to the needs of so many people oppressed by destitution and hunger in the context of the Second World War.
Work together to leave no one behind
In light of the current context, Pope noted, the World Day that calls for “Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all”, it will not be possible to address the many crises that affect humanity “if we do not work and walk together, leaving no one behind.”
“If one member suffers, all the others suffer with him,” he said, quoting from Gospel.
A strategy for just and lasting solutions
The Holy Father went on to mention the importance of the organization’s strategic framework for the coming decade which aims to contribute to the complete eradication of hunger and malnutrition.
Projects and interventions, he said, must not simply be a response to circumstantial shortcomings or appeals made in emergency contexts, but must aim for just and lasting solutions.
The Holy Father invited all those engaged in international cooperation to never lose sight of the fact that “the axis of any strategy is people, with concrete stories and faces, living in a given place; not numbers, data or endless statistics.”
Introduce 'the category of love' into the language of international cooperation, he said:
“We are called to redirect our gaze towards the essential,” Pope Francis explained, “towards what has been given to us freely, focusing our work on caring for others and for creation.”
The commitment of the Catholic Church
The Pope concluded his message addressed to Qu Dongyu reaffirming the commitment of the Holy See and the Catholic Church “to walk together with the FAO and the other intergovernmental organisations working on behalf of the poor.”
We do this, he said, putting fraternity, concord and mutual collaboration first, in order to discover horizons that will bring genuine benefit to the world, not only for today, but also for future generations.”
Finally, he said, he raises his prayers to the Lord for this intention.