Rome

UN food agency counts on pope's support to combat famine

Francis an 'important ally' to fight world hunger

UN food agency counts on pope's support to combat famine

Rome, March 19 - The head of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Tuesday said his Rome-based organization sees in recently-elected Pope Francis an important ally in the organization's efforts to stamp out famine around the world. In a statement, FAO Director General Jose' Graziano Da Silva said: "We look to Pope Francis as an important support for the rights and needs of the most vulnerable children, for women and for men wherever they may be". Speaking on behalf of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Da Silva also said in the statement that the United Nations looks to Pope Francis as a "friend of the poor" and as an ally in the organization's battles against famine, malnutrition and extreme poverty. "The support of the Catholic Church and of other religions (is) indispensable in our challenge to eliminate famine, build a sustainable future and improve the lives of the most vulnerable among us". Da Silva was one of the foreign dignitaries attending Pope Francis's inaugural mass on Tuesday and he recalled how Pope Emeritus Benedict also helped the organization by fighting against speculation on prices of food products on commodities markets.

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