Pope Francis, Bread for the World President Speak at World Food Programme Headquarters

ROME–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ZeroHunger–Today, Pope Francis and Bread for the World President Rev. David
Beckmann addressed the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on the
need to end hunger and poverty. Beckmann addressed the WFP after the
pope gave his remarks.

During his remarks, the pope said, “A people plays out its future by its
ability to respond to the hunger and thirst of its brothers and sisters.
In that ability to come to the aid of the hungry and thirsty, we can
measure the pulse of our humanity. For this reason, I desire that the
fight to eradicate the hunger and thirst of our brothers and sisters,
and with our brothers and sisters, will continue to challenge us to seek
creative solutions of change and transformation.”

Immediately following the pope’s remarks, Beckmann discussed how
faith-based organizations are uniquely powerful actors to end hunger.
Beckmann and Pope Francis spoke during the WFP’s meetings on
Inter-Religious Engagement for Zero Hunger. It was the first time a pope
has visited the agency.

Beckmann also had an opportunity to meet with the pope.

“The feasibility of Zero Hunger has moral and spiritual implications,”
said Beckmann. “It is no longer ethically sufficient to help people in
need. We aren’t acting ethically unless we are helping to end hunger,
which means advocating for the systemic changes that are required. God’s
grace leads directly to advocacy to end hunger.”

All of this comes during the important first year of work toward the
landmark Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17 global goals,
which have been agreed to by U.N. member states, aim to tackle the root
causes of hunger and poverty.

Bread for the World, the largest anti-hunger advocacy organization in
the world, believes the WFP should support faith-based and civil-society
advocacy for Zero Hunger, the second of the SDGs.

“Bread for the World and the Alliance to End Hunger provide an example
of faith-based advocacy for the end of hunger,” said Beckmann. “Religion
can be a powerful force in support of the SDGs and Zero Hunger. Working
together, faith-based organizations and the World Food Programme can
help make Zero Hunger a reality.”

He affirmed Bread’s interest in the proposed Inter-religious Council on
Ending Hunger. However, political will to end hunger is critical.

“Ending hunger by 2030 requires strong leadership from the U.S., which
is the world’s largest development aid donor,” added Beckmann. “That is
why it is critical during the 2016 elections that voters elect a
president and a Congress committed to making ending poverty and hunger a
priority.”

Bread for the World (www.bread.org)
is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to
end hunger at home and abroad.

Contacts

Bread for the World
Chris Ford, 520-904-0415
cford@bread.org