ROME – Pope Francis today received the head of the UN World Food Programme, David Beasley, in a private audience at the Vatican.
In the 40-minute audience, Beasley voiced specific fears about famine looming in several countries at the same time as COVID-19 is ravaging communities around the globe.
WFP projects that some 270 million people will face severe hunger this year, fuelled by COVID-19, conflict, climate shocks and other factors.
Beasley also briefed Pope Francis on his appeal to billionaires who have become wealthier during the COVID-19 pandemic to step up and help fund efforts to support the hungry and poor.
The Pope’s longstanding concern for the hungry prompted a papal visit to WFP headquarters in 2016, where His Holiness offered his support and encouragement in efforts to achieve a Zero Hunger world.
Pope Francis met David Beasley in November 2017, but today’s meeting is the first since WFP was named recipient of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its work fighting hunger.
Photo Editors: Click here for photos of this visit.