Resilient, inclusive and sustainable: this is how food systems must be to put an end to the “scourge of hunger”. This was reiterated by Monsignor Fernando Chica Arellano, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to FAO, Ifad and WFP, speaking today, 12 October, at the seminar focused on the theme “Resilient, inclusive and sustainable food systems: from words to deeds” . The event was organized by the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, together with the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the FAO, Ifad and WFP and the Rome Forum of Catholic-inspired NGOs. Starting point of the meeting: the United Nations summit on food systems, held in September, as well as the pre-summit on the same theme, hosted in Rome by the Italian government in July.
320 million more people without adequate nutrition
In 2020, almost one in three people did not have access to adequate nutrition: this is 320 million more people, a staggering increase compared to 2019, also due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, underlines the Permanent Observer, the issue of food resources goes beyond the mere “quantitative approach”: in reality, it must have an “open look” that also considers climate change, waste management and pollution, the decrease of drinking water and the loss of biodiversity. The correct point of view, explains Monsignor Chica Arellano, must be “the logic of care”, because only in this way will food systems be able to “protect the Earth and keep the dignity of the human person at the center,guaranteeing sufficient food for all and promoting decent work at the local level ”.
Recognize the right to food for refugees
In the face of “systemic injustices” we need “a systemic transformation” that aims at resilient, inclusive, sustainable food systems. And the Permanent Observer expresses these three adjectives in a precise way: resilient food systems are those in which the right to food is recognized even for vulnerable groups, such as refugees, and those who focus on technological and social innovations, as they “improve efficiency and reduce the costs of clean energy ”, inspiring hope. Furthermore, inclusive food systems make it possible to fight hunger through “collaboration between the public and private sectors, civil society and universities”.
Giving a voice to women, young people and indigenous peoples
With this in mind, Monsignor Chica Arellano shines the spotlight on three specific categories that “must have a broad voice and be involved in political and decision-making processes”: small-scale women producers from rural areas, to which “access must be guaranteed to land and credit, so that they can act as catalysts and facilitators of the transition ”; young people who represent “the leaders of today, not tomorrow, because the transformation of food systems is also a question of justice between generations”; and indigenous peoples who “play a fundamental role in preserving and safeguarding nature”.
Man is the administrator, not the owner, of creation
Finally, sustainable food systems are those that respect “the environment, workers and future generations”. Only in this way, in fact, says the Permanent Observer, can sustainability be “environmental, economic and social”, allowing us to build “new development models based on the care of our common home and family”, thanks to a humanity aware of ” being responsible steward of the Earth “.
Eradicating hunger from the world is everyone’s job
The right strategy to achieve these objectives, adds the prelate, is that of “seeing-judging-acting” and therefore of “passing from words to deeds”, because “each of us must be motivated by the same goal of eradicating hunger from the world and to guarantee equal access to a healthy and nutritious diet “. If, in fact, food systems are not “fair and sustainable” and if the contemporary mentality does not understand how essential “the theme of nutrition is for a life that is dignified, healthy and in harmony with nature”, then “there will be no future, but not even a present “. “Our contribution to the cause of hunger in the world is unique and irreplaceable – concludes Monsignor Chica Arellano – We cultivate a mentality ready to react with hope and creativity”, so as to eradicate hunger and leave no one behind.
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