Pope Francis today called for the fight against hunger to be a priority and not just a slogan considering that it is necessary to “put technology at the service of the poor.“
The pope spoke today at the opening of the 42nd annual meeting of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Directing Council.
In his message, published in the Vatican press room, the pope recalled “the multitude of brothers and sisters,” of people in need, who are now “suffering in the world“, without seeing “their cries and needs.”
Francisco described a World in which “the air is imperfect, the natural resources are exhausted, the rivers polluted and the acidified soils” and also denounced the existence of millions of people who “do not have enough water for themselves or for their crops, with infrastructures sanitary facilities and with degraded houses.
The Pope said that the battle must be taken “seriously” to overcome hunger and misery, considering that this struggle cannot be a slogan but a priority.
To that end, he added, “the international community, civil society and those with resources are needed.”
Francisco emphasized the paradox that “most of the more than 820 million people suffering from hunger and malnutrition in the world live in rural areas, devoting themselves to food production.”
In his address, the pope urged those with responsibility in nations and intergovernmental organizations, as well as those who can contribute in the public and private sectors, “to develop the channels necessary for appropriate measures to be implemented in the rural regions of the Earth, so that can be architects responsible for their production and progress. ”
For the pope, aid cannot continue to be understood from time to time with emergency resolutions, as aid “can generate dependencies.”
Francisco indicated that “we must bet on innovation, entrepreneurship, the protagonist of local actors” and “really put technology at the service of the poor.”
According to a United Nations study presented today in Ethiopia, Hunger increased in sub-Saharan Africa in 2017, reaching 237 million people.
Among Portuguese, the highest prevalence of malnutrition was registered in Mozambique with 30% of the population in this condition, followed by Guinea Bissau (26%), Angola (12.9%), Cape Verde (12.3%) and São Tomé and Príncipe (10.2%).
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) study places Angola among countries that have “made substantial progress” in reducing malnutrition, cutting 10 or more percentage points since 2004.
FAO warns that malnutrition continues to increase on the continent after several years of decline, threatening the goal of 2030 hunger eradication in the Sustainable Development Objective, agreed by the international community.