United States

USCCB calls for addressing global hunger crisis

According to the World Food Program, in 2022 approximately 258 million people suffered from extreme hunger. With Russia threatening not to allow the distribution of grain by Ukraine, the numbers are expected to increase and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement on the subject.

Paloma López Campos-August 11, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes
Hunger in the world

A woman collects grain at a camp for displaced people in Ethiopia's Somali region (CNS photo / Claire Nevill, World Food Program handout via Reuters).

In 2022 some 258 million people suffered from extreme hunger, according to data provided by the World Food Program. This figure is expected to rise, given the Russian threat not to allow Ukraine to distribute grain. The growing concern has prompted the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to issue a note talking about the subject.

The release is signed by Bishop David J. Malloy, chair of the USCCB's International Justice and Peace Committee. The release includes a plea to world leaders to work to ensure food security for all.

As Malloy states, "The World Food Program estimates that 345 million people will suffer acute hunger this year, and 129,000 will potentially face starvation in places like Afghanistan, SyriaYemen, the Horn of Africa and Myanmar".

Therefore, the U.S. bishops join in what Pope Francis has already expressed with concern: "I appeal with all my heart that everything possible be done to solve this problem and to guarantee the universal human right to food. Please do not use wheat, a staple food, as a weapon of war."

The relationship between armed conflict and hunger is very close. For this reason, the president of the International Justice and Peace Committee makes in his note an "appeal to world leaders to look beyond narrow national interests, focus on the common good and unite to ensure that critical food supplies can reach those most in need."

The statement of the Cardinal concludes with a strong exhortation: "The most vulnerable cry out in hunger. With the compassion of Christ, we must listen to their cries and help them".

Pope Francis and hunger

Pope Francis has also spoken about the global hunger crisis repeatedly throughout his pontificate. Already in December 2013 he invited "all the institutions of the world, the whole Church and each one of us, as one human family, to give voice to all the people who suffer silently from hunger, so that this voice may become a roar capable of shaking the world."

Francis has insisted many times on this issue because, as he stated in 2014, "food is an inalienable right". For this reason, he went so far as to express in 2016: "I hope that the struggle to eradicate hunger and thirst of our brothers and sisters and with our brothers and sisters will continue to challenge us, that it will not let us sleep and that it will make us dream, both. May it challenge us to creatively seek solutions for change and transformation".

La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.