ROME (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Monday condemned the use of hunger as a “weapon of war” and lamented the fact that it was easier to move weapons across borders than the aid needed to keep civilians alive.
On a visit to the headquarters of the World Food Program (WFP), the pope said the world faced a “strange paradox”.
“Whereas forms of aid and development projects are obstructed by involved and incomprehensible political decisions, skewed ideological visions and impenetrable customs barriers, weaponry is not.
“In some cases, hunger itself is used as a weapon of war,” he said in an address to the WFP, the Rome-based U.N. agency which is the largest provider of food aid worldwide.
“(Weapons) circulate with brazen and virtually absolute freedom in many parts of the world. As a result, wars are fed, not people,” said Francis, who has often condemned arms manufacturing and trafficking.
The Argentine pope said the rich world was increasingly desensitized, “growing immune to other people’s tragedies, seeing them as something ‘natural’ … all those human lives turn into one more news story.”