UN asks for religious support in fighting world hunger

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, September 14, 2012 13:54 EDT
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Pope Benedict XVI (L) greets the head of the Food and Agriculture Organization Jose Graziano da Silva at the Vatican in June 2012. (AFP Photo)
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The UN food agency Friday said it was looking for support from world religious leaders in the fight against global hunger as the agency’s chief met the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople.

“Eradicating hunger not only makes economic and political sense, it is also a moral issue,” Food and Agriculture Organisation director-general Jose Graziano da Silva was quoted in a FAO statement as saying at the meeting.

The FAO chief met Bartholomew I, a noted environmentalist, in Istanbul.

FAO said Graziano da Silva had actively sought “to involve the world’s religions more closely in the fight against hunger” and this month also wrote to Cairo’s Al-Azhar mosque, Sunni Islam’s highest seat of learning.

In his letter to the mosque’s Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, Graziano da Silva asked for support in efforts to eradicate global hunger and informed him of FAO’s activities in the drought-prone Horn of Africa.

“We must achieve global food security in order to have a more secure world,” Graziano da Silva was quoted as telling the grand imam.

Similar letters will be sent to other religious leaders, the FAO said.

In June, Graziano da Silva was received in a private audience by Pope Benedict XVI in which he called for “renewed support of the Catholic Church in the fight against hunger at the global and local levels”.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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