Pope Benedict XVI on hunger and poverty:
“Hunger is the most cruel and concrete sign of poverty. Opulence and waste are no longer acceptable when the tragedy of hunger is assuming ever greater proportions. The Catholic Church will always be concerned for efforts to defeat hunger; the Church is committed to support, by word and deed, the action taken in solidarity – planned, responsible and regulated – to which all members of the international community are called to contribute.” From his address at the World Summit on Food Security (Rome, November 2009)
Food Security refers to the availability of food at all times. Food security exists when individuals and families have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their daily needs for an active and healthy life.
Women are a pivotal force in achieving a food secure world. In most developing countries, they produce between 60 and 80 percent of the food, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute (www.ifpri.org). When women earn more income, they use the extra funds for their children’s food and other needs. By investing in women, we amplify benefits across families and generations.
The United States maintains the size and power to set the tone for the future of food production and innovation. The challenge in agriculture today is to produce more with less – more food with less land and resources. To do so, we need a progressive approach to policymaking that goes beyond increased global trade. Farmers around the world are capable of producing enough food in a sustainable way in their own regions and communities. But there needs to be committed and courageous leadership to pave the way for a greater distribution of resources and international aid.
The world community can reduce hunger and create a secure global food supply for everyone by unleashing the proven potential of small-scale agricultural producers – both women and men.
“He who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack.” (2 Cor 8:15)