Catholic pontiff Pope Francis is not happy with the level of hunger across the world.

On Thursday, the pope, who is known to champion the cause of the poor, condemned unfair access to food around the world as “perverse”, saying it threatened disaster for humanity if not remedied.

“Few have too much, and many have little,” the 81-year-old Argentine pontiff, who is one of the world’s most respected voices on issues of poverty and social justice, said.

The Roman Catholic Church’s leader made his comments during a visit to the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organisation for a session of the governing council of its sister agency, the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

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“Many do not have food and are adrift while the few are drowning in the superfluous.

“This perverse tendency of inequality is disastrous for the future of humanity,” the pope, who has often backed UN targets to tackle hunger and climate change, said.

In words echoing the complaints of grassroots protest movements around the world, Francis lamented that the rate of extreme poverty reduction was slowing “while the concentration of riches in the hands of few is increasing”.

Another UN agency in January said in the pope’s home continent Latin America, the number of people in extreme poverty increased in 2017 to the highest in almost a decade in spite of improvements in social spending policies.

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