Pope Francis says "Despite the achievements of the past decades, many of our brothers and sisters still do not have access, either in quantity or quality, to the necessary nutrition." FULL TEXT.



[Rome, June 14-18, 2021]

To His Excellency
Minister of Climate and Environment
of the Republic of Poland
President of the XLII
FAO Conference

The current moment, still marked by the health, economic and social crisis caused by Covid-19, highlights that the work that FAO carries out in the search for adequate answers to the problem of food insecurity and malnutrition, which continue to be great challenges of our time, acquires particular importance. Despite the achievements of the past decades, many of our brothers and sisters still do not have access, either in quantity or quality, to the necessary nutrition.

Last year, the number of people who were at risk of acute food insecurity, and who needed immediate support to survive, reached the highest figure in the last five years. This situation could worsen in the future. Conflicts, extreme weather phenomena, economic crises, together with the current health crisis, are a source of famine and hunger for millions of people. Therefore, to address these growing vulnerabilities, the adoption of policies capable of addressing the structural causes that cause them is essential.

To offer a solution to these needs, it is above all important to ensure that food systems are resilient, inclusive, sustainable and capable of providing healthy and accessible diets for all. In this perspective, the development of a circular economy is profitable, which guarantees resources for all, including for future generations, and which promotes the use of renewable energies. The fundamental factor for recovering from the crisis that plagues us is an economy on a human scale, not only subject to profit, but anchored to the common good, friendly to ethics and respectful of the environment.

The reconstruction of post-pandemic economies offers us the opportunity to reverse the course followed so far and to invest in a global food system capable of withstanding future crises. This includes the promotion of sustainable and diversified agriculture, which takes into account the precious role of family farming and that of rural communities. In fact, it is paradoxical to note that the lack or scarcity of food is suffered precisely by those who produce it. Three quarters of the world's poor live in rural areas and rely primarily on agriculture to earn their living. However, due to lack of access to markets, land tenure, financial resources, infrastructure and technology, these brothers and sisters of ours are the most vulnerable to food insecurity.

I appreciate and encourage the efforts of the international community to ensure that each country can put in place the mechanisms necessary to achieve its food autonomy, both through new models of development and consumption, and through forms of community organization that preserve local ecosystems and biodiversity (cf. Encyclical Laudato si ' , nn. 129 , 180 ). It could be of great help to use the potential of innovation to support small producers and help them improve their capacities and resilience. With this in mind, the work you do is of particular importance in the current era of crisis.

At the present juncture, in order to start the recovery, the fundamental step is the promotion of a culture of care, willing to face the individualistic and aggressive tendency to throw away, which is very present in our societies. While few sow tensions, clashes and falsehoods, we, on the other hand, are invited to build, with patience and determination, a culture of peace that is oriented towards initiatives that embrace all aspects of human life and help us reject the virus of indifference. .

Dear friends, simply drawing up programs is not enough to give impetus to the action of the international community; there is a need for tangible gestures that have as a point of reference the common belonging to the human family and the promotion of brotherhood. Gestures that facilitate the creation of a society that promotes education, dialogue and equity.

Individual responsibility gives rise to collective responsibility, which encourages the family of nations to make concrete and effective commitments. It is pertinent that “we do not think only of our interests, of particular interests. We take this test as an opportunity to prepare everyone for tomorrow, without excluding anyone: everyone. Because without an overview, no one will have a future "( Homily at the Mass of Divine Mercy , April 19, 2020).

With a cordial greeting both to you, Mr. President of the Conference, and to the Director General of FAO, to the Representatives of the various Nations and International Organizations, and also to the other participants, I wish to express my gratitude to you for your efforts. The Holy See and the Catholic Church, with their structures and institutions, support the work of this Conference and accompany you in your dedication to a more just world, at the service of our defenseless and needy brothers and sisters.



Vatican, June 14, 2021


from L'Osservatore Romano , Year CLXI n. 132, Monday 14 June 2021, p.12