This is not the first time that His Holiness Pope Francis sets the alarm bells warning that overcoming hunger is of the major challenges facing humanity while referring to hunger as "a crime that violates basic human rights."
In a message he has sent to Director General of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization Qu Dongyu, Pope Francis says we must adopt “innovative solutions” to transform the way we produce and consume food “for the well-being of people and of the planet.”
In his message, the Holy Father says this year’s theme for World Food Day — “Our actions are our future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life” — “underlines the need for concerted action so that everyone has access to diets that ensure maximum environmental sustainability and are also adequate and affordable.”
In this message, the Pope calls for encouraging "producers and consumers to make ethical and sustainable choices and raise awareness among the younger generations of the important role they play in making a world without hunger a reality.”
The question that arises is that "is famine in the offing?" Reviewing recent relevant reports indicates that several countries in the world are drifting towards hunger. Under such circumstances, the world will definitely be edging towards instability which snowballs into violence, wars, crimes and insecurity.
The words of Pope Francis have all the time to be recalled, as he had said earlier marking the World Day of the Poor on November 15, 2020, "We must do good, to come to ourselves and look, look at those who have more need. There is so much hunger, even in the heart of our cities. Many times, we enter into that logic of indifference: the poor is there, and we look the other way."
Hunger is closely associated with environment. In his Encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis makes a worldwide wake-up call to help humanity understand the destruction that man is rendering to the environment and his fellow man. Actually man-made damage to environment is a crime committed against the generations to come because such damage-- inflicted by man through illegal acts, such as deforestation and industrial activities that emit dangerous gases among others-- is sometimes irreversible.
It is also important to note in this regard that Caritas Switzerland has earlier called for the food we eat to be more climate-friendly. Actually, more than 800 million people in the world suffer from hunger, and this figure could soon exceed one billion due to global warming and the coronavirus crisis. Furthermore, one-third of the world's population is undernourished and does not have access to sufficient healthy and balanced food which requires reversing course and contributing to making world food more equitable, crisis-proof and climate-friendly.
With several world countries edging towards food shortages or rather famine, it is important to heed the views expressed by Pope Francis in this regard by taking serious measures to curb the precipitating deterioration in environment and taking relevant necessary measures, in addition to creating an atmosphere conducive to the attainment of global peace, where all peoples shift their efforts towards constructive measures that eliminate the specter of famine and open the way wide for the survival of humanity.
Our Lord Jesus, it is difficult to see children suffer, especially from hunger. We pray for You to give the hungry daily bread today (Matthew 6:11) and end their persistent hunger. Provide the food they need to grow and thrive. Amen.