ucanews.com reporter, ManilaUpdated: June 01, 2016 10:53 AM GMT
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, president of Caritas Internationalis, speaks to urban poor settlers in Manila in Jan. 2016. (Photo by Mark Saludes)
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, president of Caritas Internationalis, called for "sound policies and effective measures" to ensure the right to adequate food for everyone.
"[The] market alone cannot guarantee integral human development and social inclusion," the prelate said in a speech at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome on May 30.
He said an "integral and ecological vision-based response on human development" is needed to address food loss.
"We must look at things differently, we must make policy choices, adopt lifestyles and spirituality that break with the sheer technocratic paradigm," said Cardinal Tagle.
The FAO estimates that 795 million people of the world's 7.3 billion population suffered from chronic undernourishment from 2014 to 2016.
It noted that the issue of food security is not limited to food alone.
The FAO cited food security, physical availability of food, economic and physical access, utilization, and stability as "dimensions [that] must be fulfilled simultaneously" to ensure food security.
The prelate cited Caritas programs that are "oriented to the most vulnerable and marginalized people" as examples.
He said Caritas, a confederation of over 160 member organizations working in grassroots communities, "ensures sustainable development by respecting the environment."
"[Caritas] aims at achieving social justice by creating virtuous alliances based on solidarity and cooperation, favoring social inclusion," the cardinal said.
He said the problem of food loss is among the primary concerns of the Catholic Church because it undermines human development.
Cardinal Tagle challenged the international community to meet the obligation to create favorable conditions for food security.
The prelate stressed that battling hunger comes with the proper care of the environment, citing Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato si', which reminds the faithful to care, protect, oversee, and preserve the environment to ensure its fruitfulness.
"What better way to protect and ensure fruitfulness than shunning overproduction which depletes natural resources, while making sure that the fruits of the earth do not go lost?" said Cardinal Tagle.
"This requires adopting a social perspective which takes into account the fundamental rights of the poor and the underprivileged," he said.
Cardinal Tagle noted that Catholic social teachings encourage the promotion of an economy that favors productive diversity and values small-scale food production systems.
He noted, however, that in many instances, small-scale producers are forced to sell their land or abandon their traditional crops because the economic infrastructure is geared to larger businesses.
"Adopting only technical remedies to food loss equals to forgetting the human person, separating what is in reality interconnected and masking the true and deepest problems of the global system," Cardinal Tagle said.