Blog Post

Pope Calls Population Control a False Solution to Hunger

While marking World Food Day at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome yesterday, Pope Francis called population control “a false solution” to the problem of world hunger.

The Catholic Herald is reporting on the address in which the pope called upon the international community to guarantee enough production and fair distribution of food for all, but also to ensure the right of everyone to feed himself according to his needs without being forced to leave his home and loved ones.

Unfortunately, this is happening in too many areas around the world where negligence and greed over limited resources leaves the most vulnerable with no choice but to leave their home in search of work and food.

“We are called to propose a change in lifestyle and the use of resources,” Francis said. “We cannot make do by saying ‘someone else will do it.'”

Just last month, the UN reported that the number of chronically hungry people in the world is once again on the rise after a decade of decline. This upward trend is being blamed on prolonged conflicts and climate related floods and droughts. Even though the 815 million chronically undernourished people in the world today is still lower than the 900 million recorded in the year 2000, the UN called the upward momentum of this number a “cause for great concern.”

The answer to this problem is not to reduce the world’s population, he said, but to better manage the planet’s abundant resources and prevent waste. He called the population control argument “a false solution” and said a new model of international cooperation that incorporates love, fraternity and solidarity is what’s needed to feed the world.

It’s not enough to respond with pity, he said, “because pity is limited to emergency aid.”

Love, he said, “inspires justice and is essential to bring about a just social order.”

The Holy Father left a very moving gift to the food agency to commemorate his visit – a marble sculpture of Aylan, the three-year-old Syrian toddler who washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015 after drowning in the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Vatican, the sculpture, which features a wailing angel over the little boy’s crumpled body, is a symbol of the tragedy of migration.

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