The Pope went on to stress the urgent need to "Debureaucratize" hunger in the face of armed conflicts which have sidelined "other ways of resolving the issues at hand."
"This approach is so deeply engrained and taken for granted that it prevents food supplies from being distributed in war zones, in violation of the most fundamental and age-old principles and rules of international law," he said.
Francis criticized the sale of arms worldwide, and its contribution to poverty. "As a result, wars are fed, not persons. In some cases, hunger itself is used as a weapon of war."
The death toll from hunger is added to the other casualties of war, he said.
"We are fully aware of this, yet we allow our conscience to be anesthetized. We become desensitized. Force then becomes our one way of acting, and power becomes our only goal."
The pontiff acknowledged the WFP's role in mobilizing initiatives which are concerned with the "faces" of people who suffer.
"The WFP is an excellent example of how one can work throughout the world to eradicate hunger through a better allotment of human and material resources, strengthening the local community," he said.
Francis explained that it is in fidelity to the mission of the Catholic Church to wish "to cooperate with every initiative that defends and protects the dignity of persons, especially of those whose rights are violated."
He cited the words of Jesus, "I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink."
"A people plays out its future by its ability to respond to the hunger and thirst of its brothers and sisters. In that ability to come to the aid of the hungry and thirsty, we can measure the pulse of our humanity."
After addressing the WFP assembly, Pope Francis delivered a second address to the agency's employees and their families, this time entirely off-the-cuff and in Italian.
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Although a speech had been prepared, the Pope joked that "speeches are boring," and said he would rather speak "spontaneously from the heart" in the language of the country.
The pontiff thanked those present for their "hidden" work and sacrifices behind the scenes which make the fight against hunger possible.
"You are the feet, hands, supporting the the courage of all those who go forward, who also supported the courage of the 'martyrs', so to speak, of your witnesses."