Monday is the United Nations’ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, but for people queuing up at a soup kitchen in Berlin it is a day like any other.
Whether they are unemployed, pensioners, or single mothers, what they have in common is they are struggling to make ends meet.
One man said: “If this did not exist here, I would die from hunger. I do not get any support, because I’m homeless. So I come here.” The UN’s World Food Programme is marking its 60th anniversary with a gathering in Rome today. Its head says the world has the resources to eliminate hunger and called on world leaders to look past short-term interests.
One of the Franciscan monks running the soup kitchen in Berlin agrees:“Well, there shouldn’t be any hunger in our society, if goods were distributed fairly. But who is doing that? We have to give out unsold goods from supermarkets and restaurants.”
The World Food Programme says over 850 million people currently suffer from chronic malnutrition.
The number dying every day because of hunger and poverty is estimated at 25,000 people.
A UN special rapporteur has complained that donations to the WFP fell by 200 million euros last year.