Pope Meets With Head of U.N. Food Program
Benedict XVI's Spirit Uplifts Us All, Director Says
VATICAN CITY, JAN. 15, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI received the executive director of the U.N. World Food Program, who thanked the Pope for his commitment to the poor.
Today's audience with James Morris followed the Holy Father's Jan. 8 address to the diplomatic corps, in which the Pontiff stressed the importance of the commitment to reduce hunger, a scourge that is now growing again after decades of decline.
A communiqué from the U.N. agency described the meeting as "an admonition that reflected the daily work of the World Food Program, and encouraged the international community to carry out active policies to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, first of all, to halve the proportion of the hungry by 2015."
Morris recalled the "extraordinary help provided to WFP worldwide by Catholic organizations," and expressed his wish to "thank His Holiness for his continuous personal commitment, as well as that of the Catholic Church, to the poor and desperate people in the world."
"The developed world must do more to help the over 850 million people who don't have enough to feed themselves," Morris said.
The World Food Program has numerous Catholic groups and organizations as partners, such as Caritas, Catholic Relief Services, the Daughters of Charity, and the International Catholic Migration Commission.
Morris stressed that 18,000 children die every day from hunger and malnutrition. He also mentioned the increase in natural disasters, which are among the main causes of global hunger.
"The spiritual, moral and material support of Pope Benedict XVI and of the Catholic Church represents a real hope to provide a future to millions of children," Morris said. "I am so grateful for their good will, encouragement, faithfulness and especially for the Holy Father's special concern for vulnerable people at risk around the world. His spirit uplifts us all."