Sunday, July 30, 2023

Pope Francis appeals for restoration of important grain agreement


Ukraine-Russia grain crisisUkraine-Russia grain crisis  (AFP or licensors)

Pope appeals for grain agreement, "the cry of the hungry rises to Heaven"

Pope Francis has called for prayers for a restoration of the distribution of grain through the Black Sea Initiative, appealing to the authorities of the Russian Federation, so that millions who suffer hunger can be saved.

By Thaddeus Jones

Pope Francis at the conclusion of the Sunday Angelus appealed for continued prayers for "beleaguered Ukraine, where the war is destroying everything, even grain." He expressed his concern in particular over the breakdown in the Black See Initiative that has allowed grain to be shipped from ports in the region through a mutual agreement of Ukraine and Russia. 

“I appeal to my brothers, the authorities of the Russian Federation, that the Black Sea Initiative may be restored and grain may be transported safely.”

The Pope said grain is God's gift to feed humanity, and the war destruction that threatens it is a grave offense to God. 

“The cry of millions of brothers and sisters who suffer hunger rises to Heaven.”

Speaking to journalists in recent days, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, decried the breakdown in the Black Sea Initiative on grain shipments, as well as the bombardment of harbour installations and even deposits of grain.

He said "we are very concerned that a prolonged conflict will have even more dramatic impacts globally and particularly in relation to developing countries." A the same time he assured UN willingness to help revive the initiative, saying, "we need to do things that are possible and we are doing every effort we can to guarantee the success of both Ukrainian and Russian foods and fertilizers to global markets.

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