In the fight against poverty and hunger “we cannot be satisfied with a generic appeal for cooperation or to the common good,” Pope Francis wrote in a message to Jose Graziano, the director of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary.
“Perhaps we must ask: is it still possible to conceive of a society in which the resources reside in the hands of the few, and the least privileged must make do with the leftovers?” the Pope wrote. He called for action to provide protection for poor families, giving them support to overcome economic difficulties.
Noting that many of the world’s poor live in societies where small-scale farming and fishing are still the leading industries, the Pope said that these industries must be protected and supported.
The global economic system and its consequences—including climate change—often work to the detriment of those in need, the Pope wrote. He said:
We live in an age in which the unfettered pursuit of profit, the concentration of particular interests and the effects of unjust policies render less effective the actions taken by states or impede effective cooperation within the international community.