ROME — It is not uncommon for world leaders to take a stand against global poverty, and the outspoken Pope Francis is no exception. The Director General of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization Graziano da Silva announced on May 20 that Pope Francis will attend the Second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome this coming November.
Since he was named the Roman Catholic Church’s 266th pope on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis has worked to make the Church’s role in fighting global poverty more prominent so that his goal of ending the issue of world hunger by 2025 might be achieved.
Many believe that the Church as an entire institution has the power to end global hunger. Catholicism is one of the most widespread religions across the globe, and it provides many of the social services that are available in developing countries. Due to all of the work Catholic organizations and other institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO) have completed to help care for those in need, many are hopeful that world hunger may actually end in 11 years.
After the organization Caritas Internationalis’ campaign entitled One Human Family, Food For All was established in December 2013 and extreme hunger has since been combated through both short and long-term programs. Launched by Pope Francis himself, this campaign encourages everyone, and especially Catholics, to answer the call and help combat world hunger.
Pope Francis also began a continuous Prayer and Action campaign to show his dedication to Caritas Internationalis’ cause. As its name implies, this campaign is two-fold, as Pope Francis promotes the idea that both prayer and giving are fundamental acts in ending world hunger. He even promoted a special prayer called “Food For All” in support of this cause. It is expected that Pope Francis will discuss this Prayer and Action campaign at the Second International Conference.
Organized by both the Food and Agriculture Organization and the WHO, the Second International Conference on Nutrition is organized to discuss possible ways to resolve major nutrition challenges, such as malnourishment and other deficiencies, to achieve universal nutrition by 2025. Other participants scheduled to attend this conference include food, agriculture and health experts along with representatives from U.N. agencies and various organizations.
Malnutrition has continued to remain a serious health issue for millions, which is why Pope Francis, like so many world leaders, desire to relieve millions of their suffering. According to the U.N., 870 million people suffer from extreme hunger and malnutrition. Even though the U.N. along with other organizations have been successful in decreasing the amount of extreme hunger in the world, this is clearly still an issue that affects far too many lives.
From November 19 to November 21, the Second International Conference on Nutrition will welcome inspirational leaders from around the world to the Food and Agriculture Organization Headquarters in Rome to get one step closer to winning the fight against world hunger.
Sources: Catholic Online, World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, Sealing up Nutrition Catholic Relief Services, UN
Photo: NBC News