Hunger is too real in this world. We either experience it or know about it. We do not lack information and reminders about millions of impoverished human beings who lack nourishment for body, mind and spirit.
In fact, we are inundated by information about malnutrition, hunger
and starvation through reports, figures and statistics by U.N. agencies
like Rome’s own Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO); by national
Governments, NGOs, academic and research units; and by media images of
hungry men, women and children.
The ending of hunger is the first Millennium Development Goal: to
eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, to reduce by half the proportion
of people who suffer from hunger.
The U.N. has made the goal even more
comprehensive under the “zero hunger challenge”.
to increase production by using biotechnology, while other approaches
promote improved traditional methods and family farming.
Now Caritas Internationalis convokes everyone to make a modest but
crucial contribution to overcoming hunger. The campaign highlights a
change in lifestyle through the collective force of our moral and
spiritual energies. Everyone is invited to pray. Everyone is encouraged
to support local initiatives which include cutting waste, maximizing
land use for food production, support for women in agriculture, and
application of the fruits of scientific research in farming and food
Our campaign is for food, nutrition and food-security, not a
campaign against the hungry! Let us overcome hunger, not eliminate the
“One human Family, Food for all” is the appealing title and slogan of
the Caritas campaign launched today. But simply converting the first
part of the phrase into a pre-condition, a prior step, lets the title
point prophetically towards the global goal of the campaign and an
effective remedy for world hunger.
Let us read the slogan as follows: when we live as one family, there
is food for all. Such a formulation immediately makes global hunger into
a human issue: hunger comes from a lack of solidarity, hunger comes
from failing to feel, relate and behave as brothers and sisters. And
like every great human issue, it is also a moral or ethical issue. It
involves the exercise of human freedom. We are free to show dis-interest
and indifference. We are free to exercise good will. The choice is no
one’s but our own.
Very soon, Pope Francis will shed yet more light on the global
campaign against hunger, because the central theme of his message for
the World Day of Peace on the 1st of January is Fraternity as the
foundation of peace and the pathway to peace.
As applied to this
campaign, we can say that fraternity is the key to solving world hunger
and providing food for all.
Cardinal Peter Turkson
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace