- Oct 19, 2020
After a report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that global hunger is increasing for the first time in a decade, Monsignor Fernando Chica, the Holy See’s observer to the UN agency, called the results a “defeat for humanity,” and said the findings represent a global “call to solidarity.”
While recognizing that nutrition falls within the realm of the “basic needs of humans” and therefore improved food production and distribution techniques remain critical to human survival, the Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria has cautioned that “the application of a technology without adequate assurance of safety is immoral, ” and claimed GMOs could come with enormous health consequences, and have the potential to damage the environment, leading to the loss of biodiversity. Most scientists say GMOs are safe, and could help Africa solve a hunger crisis.
Pope Francis told the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization the international community should acknowledge hunger and malnutrition are not “natural or structural phenomena.” The pope said “we are dealing with a complex mechanism that mainly burdens the most vulnerable, who are not only excluded from the processes of production, but frequently obliged to leave their lands in search of refuge and hope.”
Retired Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie of Lagos, Nigeria, has appealed to the country’s president, saying, “Today, cries of hunger can be heard across the length and breadth of our vast country. Nigerians hunger not only for food, but also for good leadership, for peace, security and justice.”
In a country where 40 percent of its 16.5 million people are believed to be going hungry, Malawi’s Catholic bishops have appealed for immediate international help, noting that hospitals are already reporting malnutrition cases and the country is entering its traditional lead period.
“It makes no difference where arms come from; they circulate with brazen and virtually absolute freedom in many parts of the world,” Pope Francis told the United Nations World Food Program on Monday. “As a result, wars are fed, not persons.”