Pope Francis' World Food Day Message "...one of humanity's greatest challenges: overcoming hunger once and for all is an ambitious goal." FULL TEXT



His Excellency Qu Dongyu
Director-General of FAO


The annual celebration of  World Food Day  confronts us with one of humanity's greatest challenges: overcoming hunger once and for all is an ambitious goal. The  United Nations Summit on Food Systems , held in New York on September 23, highlighted the urgency of adopting innovative solutions that can transform the way we produce and consume food for the well-being of people and the planet . This cannot be postponed in order to accelerate the post-pandemic recovery, combat food insecurity and move towards the achievement of all the Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

The theme proposed by FAO this year: “ Our actions are our future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life ”, underlines the need for joint action so that everyone has access to diets that guarantee maximum environmental sustainability and are also adequate and at an affordable price. Each of us has a role to play in transforming food systems for the benefit of people and the planet, and “we can all collaborate […] to care for creation, each one from their culture, their experience, their initiatives and their capacities ”(Letter Enc. Laudato Si ' , 14).

We are currently witnessing a true paradox in terms of access to food: on the one hand, more than 3,000 million people do not have access to a nutritious diet, while, on the other hand, almost 2,000 million are overweight or obese due to poor health. diet and a sedentary lifestyle. If we do not want to endanger the health of our planet and our entire population, we must encourage active participation in change at all levels and reorganize food systems as a whole.

I would like to point out four areas in which action is urgent: in the field, at sea, at the table and in reducing food losses and waste. Our lifestyles and everyday consumption practices influence global and environmental dynamics, but if we aspire to real change, we must urge producers and consumers to make ethical and sustainable decisions and educate younger generations of the important role they play in make a world without hunger a reality. Each of us can contribute to this noble cause, starting with our daily lives and the simplest gestures. Knowing our Common House, protecting it and being aware of its importance is the first step to be custodians and promoters of the environment.

The pandemic gives us the opportunity to change course and invest in a global food system that can deal sensibly and responsibly with future crises. In this sense, the valuable contribution of small producers is crucial, facilitating their access to innovation that, applied to the agri-food sector, can reinforce resistance to climate change, increase food production and support those who work in the value chain food.

The fight against hunger requires overcoming the cold logic of the market, avidly focused on mere economic profit and reducing food to just another commodity, and strengthening the logic of solidarity.

Mr. Director General, the Holy See and the Catholic Church walk together with FAO and those other entities and people who give the best of themselves so that no human being sees their fundamental rights diminished or ignored. May those who sow seeds of hope and harmony feel the support of my prayer, imploring that their initiatives and projects be ever more fruitful and successful. With these sentiments, I invoke upon you and those who with determination and generosity fight misery and hunger in the world the blessing of Almighty God.

From the Vatican, October 15, 2021


Source: Vatican.va - Translation from Spanish