Pope seeks role for rural populations in addressing hunger

Pope Francis addresses the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency, in Rome, Thursday

Pope Francis addresses the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency, in Rome, Thursday

Pope Francis addresses the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency, in Rome, Thursday

Pope Francis addresses the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency, in Rome, Thursday

Pope Francis attends the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency, in Rome, Thursday,

Pope Francis attends the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency, in Rome, Thursday,

Pope Francis addresses the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency, in Rome, Thursday

Pope Francis addresses the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency, in Rome, Thursday

Pope Francis addresses the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency, in Rome, Thursday

Pope Francis addresses the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency, in Rome, Thursday

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis is urging global decision-makers in both the public and private sectors to help address poverty and hunger in rural areas by engaging the local population as "responsible architects" of progress.

Francis was addressing an annual session Thursday of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, a U.N. agency based in Rome dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger in rural areas of the developing world.

The pope said "today more than ever we need to unite our efforts, reach consensus and reinforce our connections. The challenges we face are so intricate and complex that we cannot continue to confront them in an occasional way, with emergency resolutions."

He praised IFAD for results it has achieved by decentralizing its projects, encouraging regional cooperation and diversifying financial sources.