2009-02-20 14:56:18

Pope Benedict addresses IFAD on 30th anniversary

(February 20, 2009) At this particular time in history when current instability in the prices of agricultural products is damaging food security, new and far-sighted strategies are needed to fight rural poverty and promote rural development said Pope Benedict the XVI on Friday. His remark came in an address to the officials and representatives of member states of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, the Rome-based specialized United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. The officials met the Pope in the Vatican on the occasion of IFAD’s 30th anniversary this year. The Pope wished that the anniversary celebration will provide them with an incentive to fight rural poverty and promote rural development with renewed energy and determination in the years ahead. He said that assistance to local agricultural producers not only boosts the wider economy but also provides greater food security for all. “If properly supported and equipped, the agricultural sector has the potential to lift a nation out of poverty and to lay the foundations for increasing prosperity,” the Pope said. “The goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, as well as promoting food security and rural development, far from being over-ambitious or unrealistic, become, in this context, imperatives binding upon the whole international community,” the Pope said.

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