Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - Updated: 2:12 pm
ROME (CNS) — At a time of technological and scientific progress, “we ought to feel shame” for not having advanced in “humanity and solidarity” enough to feed the world’s poor, Pope Francis said.
“Neither can we console ourselves simply for having faced emergencies and desperate situations of those most in need. We are all called to go further. We can and we must do better for the helpless,” the pope said in a message to world leaders attending a meeting of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.
The World Food Day ceremony Oct. 16 marked the date the organization was founded in 1945 to address the causes of world hunger.
The theme for 2018 is “Our actions are our future: A zero hunger world by 2030 is possible.” The 2030 agenda seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
Local programs are just as important as global commitments to ending hunger, Pope Francis said in his message.
“Global indicators are of no use if our commitment does not correspond to reality on the ground,” the pope said. “This must be done in the context of suitable institutional, social and economic support that offers fruitful initiatives and solutions so that the poor do not feel overlooked again.”
According to the FAO 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report, world hunger is on the rise again, and over 820 million people are suffering chronic undernourishment.