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Pope Francis attends his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, May 2, 2018.
Andrew Medichini/AP
Food & Hunger

Pope Francis Calls Out Global Food Inequity in Powerful Speech


Why Global Citizens Should Care
 More than 821 million people around the world are food insecure, and malnourishment causes health problems, stunting, and even death. The United Nations' Global Goal 2 calls for an end to hunger by 2030. You can help to ensure that people around the world have food resources by taking action here.

Pope Francis is encouraging leaders to take a stand against world hunger.

In an annual session for the International Fund for Agricultural Development, a UN agency based in Rome that aims to end poverty and hunger in the rural developing world, Pope Francis took the stage on Thursday to address global food inequality, the Associated Press reports.

“Few have too much, and many have little,” said Pope Francis. “We need the help of the international community, civil society and all those who have the resources. Responsibilities cannot be evaded, passed from one to another, but must be assumed in order to offer concrete and real solutions."

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“Rural innovation and entrepreneurship” was the theme of this year’s IFAD two-day meeting. Pope Francis addressed this by condemning the wealth gap for food and resource accessibility around the world.

“Many do not have food and are adrift while the few are drowning in the superfluous,” said Pope Francis ."They live in precarious situations: the air is polluted, natural resources are depleted, rivers are polluted, soils are acidified. They do not have enough water for themselves or for their crops; their sanitary infrastructures are very inadequate; their houses are meager and defective."

In Latin America, where Pope Francis is from, and throughout the Caribbean, 39.3 million people are undernourished.

Read More: Hunger 101: The Low-Down on World Hunger

"It is paradoxical that a good portion of the more than 820 million people who suffer hunger and malnutrition in the world live in rural areas, are dedicated to food production and are farmers," he said.

The pope has always been an advocate for social justice. In the past, he’s spoken out about climate change, stood up for refugee rights, and fought against human trafficking.

Read More: On World Food Day, Pope Francis Says Link Between Climate Change and Hunger Is Undeniable

Globally, 1 in 9 people in the world today are undernourished, according to the UN. The majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries.

"This perverse tendency of inequality is disastrous for the future of humanity,” he said.