Pope joins world leaders to end global hunger

Vatican Insider News photograph: Pope Francis during his visit to FAO in 2014

ROME - Pope Francis will tackle the issue of global hunger at the opening ceremony of the 42nd Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). He will be joined by several world leaders at the event, which is set to take place on Feb. 14, 2019.

 The Governing Council will provide an opportunity for heads of state and government to address some of the world's most intractable challenges around poverty and hunger in developing countries. All 176 of IFAD’s member states will attend the ceremony, which takes place every year.

 Discussions during the 2019 event will centre upon the theme of "Rural innovation and entrepreneurial spirit". Leaders will look into how they can tackle these challenges by investing in technology, innovation and small enterprise development.

 This is the first time Francis will take part in the opening ceremony of IFAD's major annual meeting. Eradicating rural poverty and hunger, the Fund's core global mandate, is an issue of constant concern to the pontiff.   

 On World Food Day last October, the Pope announced, "we can and we must do better for the helpless. We must move to concrete action, so that the scourge of hunger disappears completely."

 IFAD, founded in 1977, has targeted its investments to millions of rural women and men to enable them to grow more food, feed their families better and raise their incomes for many years. IFAD-supported projects have demonstrated that rural people can build resilience and take charge of their own development once they have access to financing, markets, technology and information.