VATICAN CITY (CNS): If famine and malnutrition are to be alleviated, funnelling most of the earth’s resources to a select few must end, and individuals need to adopt less consumerist lifestyles, Pope Benedict XVI said.
The unjust distribution of the world’s resources not only creates “the scandal of hunger”, it also plays a role in today’s environmental and energy crises, the Pope said during his Angelus address in St Peter’s Square on November 12.
More than 860 million people around the world suffer from malnutrition, and “too many people, especially children, die of hunger”, the Pope said.
Every five seconds a child dies from starvation, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation.
Jacques Diouf, who is head of the UN organisation, said the number of people who go hungry is increasing by 4 million each year.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Renato Martino, who is president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said the widening gap between rich and poor is “intolerable for humanity”.
And the Vatican’s foreign affairs minister, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, denounced the wealthiest countries’ exploitation of the poorest countries.