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Pope Decries World Hunger As ‘Scandalous,’ Urges Countries To Work Together

“Decrying starvation in a world of plenty as ‘scandalous,’ Pope Francis was joined today by the head of the United Nations Rome based-agricultural agency in urging countries to work together to eliminate hunger and poverty,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “‘It is a well-known fact that current levels of production are sufficient, yet millions of people are still suffering and dying of starvation. This is truly scandalous,’ Pope Francis said [to] an audience at the Vatican with members of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and delegates attending the agency’s 38th Conference,” the news service notes, adding, “Pope Francis underlined that countries must ‘must move beyond indifference’ and change policies that exclude the most vulnerable populations, exacerbating hunger and poverty” (6/20). “The pontiff said that the purpose of the meeting was to ‘share the idea that something more can and must be done’ to help the poor, and that they need more than simply goodwill and promises that often have not been kept,” according to Christian Post (Zaimov, 6/20). “The speech was the latest in a series of criticisms by the Argentinian pontiff, the first Latin American pope, of what he has called ‘the dictatorship of the economy’ and the spread of consumerist values,” Reuters writes, adding, “Francis has made repeated calls to tackle poverty and focus on the needs of the poor since he succeeded Pope Benedict in March” (6/20).