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Pontiff denounces bureaucracy that curbs aid, not arms

(AGI) Vatican City, June 13 - Pope Francis has denounced bureaucracy that makes ...

Pontiff denounces bureaucracy that curbs aid, not arms
Papa Francesco (afp) 

(AGI) Vatican City, June 13 - Pope Francis has denounced bureaucracy that makes access to arms too easy, but aid to the world's neediest full of red tape. The Pontiff pronounced the following words during his address to the Assembly of the World Food Programme (WFP): "The Earth, abused and exploited, continues in many parts of the world to yield its fruits, offering us the best of itself. The faces of the starving remind us that we have foiled its purposes." He also made an appeal to the member states [who should] "decisively increase their commitment to cooperate with the World Food Program. In this way the WFP will not only be able to respond to urgent needs, but also to carry out sound projects and promote long-term development programmes, as requested by each of the governments and consonant with the needs of peoples." The Pope used a paradox in his address to the WFP Assembly: "While forms of aid and development projects are obstructed by involved and incomprehensible political decisions, skewed ideological visions and impenetrable customs barriers, weaponry is not. It makes no difference where arms come from; they circulate with brazen and virtually absolute freedom in many parts of the world. As a result, wars are fed, not persons. In some cases, hunger itself is used as a weapon of war. The death count multiplies because the number of people dying of hunger and thirst is added to that of battlefield casualties and the civilian victims of conflicts and attacks." During his visit to the WFP headquarters, at Parco dei Medici, in Rome's western subuurban area, Pope Francis prayed before the 'Memorial Wall', which bears the names of the officers killed, including the five victims of the suicide bomber attack at the UN Islamabad offices (Islamabad is the capital of a country, Pakistan, where the WFP provides substantial and fundamental support). "We must preserve their memory. We remember them best by continuing to fight for the great goal of "zero hunger." The courage of your martyrs and testimonies, we must not forget," continued Pope Francis, speaking off the cuff. "The names enshrined at the entrance, are of those people who died having faith in their work. This wall is a testimony of the sacrifice accomplished by the members of this institution, offering their lives so as not to leave the hungry without bread." According to Pope Francis, "Those names, enshrined at the entrance of this building, are an eloquent sign that the WFP, far from a cold and anonymous institution, is an effective means for the international community to carry out ever more robust and productive activities." "The credibility of an institution, " said the Pope, "is not based on its declarations, but on the work accomplished by its members." (AGI). .