The current level of hunger in war-ravaged Yemen is unprecedented and causes severe hunger for millions of people The current level of hunger in war-ravaged Yemen is unprecedented and causes severe hunger for millions of people  (ANSA)

Pope on World Food Day: In a world at war put fraternity first

Pope Francis joins World Food Day 2022 with a letter to the Director of FAO in which he points out that hunger needs to be eradicated bearing in mind that people are not numbers and he calls for humanity and solidarity in international relations.

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.”

“This requires, first of all, that we see others as our brothers and sisters, as members who make up our own human family, and whose sufferings and needs affect us all.”

 “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.

“It is necessary to reiterate the urgency of tackling the problem of poverty, which is closely linked to the lack of adequate nutrition, together and at all levels.”

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.”

A UN development project in Niger
A UN development project in Niger


Introduce  'the category of love' into the language of international cooperation, he said:

“Clothe international relations with humanity and solidarity, pursuing the common good.”

“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.

“Knowing that every creature receives sustenance from His hand and that He abundantly blesses those who break bread with the hungry.”

Rice fields in South East Asia
Rice fields in South East Asia
14 October 2022, 14:26