Pope Francis has denounced the unfair difference in the ability of people around the world to get food, describing it as “corrupt” and threatening a disaster for humanity unless it is remedied.
“Few have too many and many have crumbs,” said the 81-year-old Argentine pope. Pope Francis’ views on poverty and social justice are highly respected worldwide.
Pope Francis made the remarks during a visit to Rome by the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to attend a session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a sister agency of the organization.
“Many people do not have food, while the few are drowning in excess of their need,” said Pope Francis, who often supports the United Nations’ hunger and climate change goals. “This corrupt trend of inequality is catastrophic for the future of humanity,” he said.
In words echoing protest movements of ordinary citizens around the world, Pope Francis expressed regret over the slow decline in extreme poverty while “the concentration of wealth is in the hands of few.” “They live in fragile conditions,” he said of the most disadvantaged people in the world. “The air is corrupt, the natural resources are depleted, rivers are polluted and the soil is acidic.”
The pope, who also met with indigenous representatives, said it was “paradoxical” that many of the 820 million people suffering from hunger and malnutrition lived in rural areas that produce most of the food. Mass exodus from rural to urban areas was a cause for concern.