In violation of international law, starvation and hunger are used as a weapon of war in conflict zones, said Pope Francis.
Urging the 'denaturalisation' of hunger, he said, "In some cases, hunger itself is used as a weapon of war."
He was speaking to nearly 1,000 people during his first visit to the United Nations World Food Programme in Rome.
‘Pope Francis warned against consumerism that has inured societies to hunger and poverty.’
"The death count multiplies because the number of people dying of hunger and thirst is added to that of battlefield casualties and the civilian victims of conflicts and attacks," he added referring to sieges preventing the distribution of food in conflict zones.
Francis said he fully supported the "great" goal agreed by all UN member states of eradicating hunger by 2030 and warned against consumerism that has inured societies to hunger and poverty.
"Little by little we are growing immune to other people's tragedies, seeing them as something 'natural'," the pontiff stated.
"We are bombarded by so many images that we see pain but do not touch it, we hear weeping, but do not comfort it, we see thirst but do not quench it."
He urged the international community to "debureaucratise" aid and eliminate food waste, praising WFP for its work at the frontline of fighting hunger.