Pope Benedict said persistent world hunger calls for global reforms that focus on long-term solutions as well as short-term emergency food aid.
The pope made the comments in his message for World Food Day, which was celebrated Oct. 16.
The pope said the theme of this year’s day, United Against Hunger, should remind all of the responsibility to support the agricultural sector.
Freedom from hunger, he said, means ensuring not only that enough food is available, but also that everyone has daily access to it.
The pope praised recent international steps to protect the right to safe water, which he said was “essential to human nutrition, to rural activities and to the conservation of nature.”
The deterioration of climatic and environmental conditions requires additional funding so that agricultural production cycles can be reestablished, the pope said.
The climate and environmental problems have a big negative impact on rural populations and crop systems, he said.