Pope Benedict is calling for swift global action to overcome hunger in the troubled Darfur region of western Sudan.
Speaking Sunday, the pontiff said the most basic food needs of hundreds of thousands of people in Darfur are not being met.
Earlier this month, the World Food Program said lagging donations had forced it to reduce food rations to 1,050 calories per day - about half of an average person's daily requirement.
The Khartoum government and Darfur's main rebel group signed a peace deal May fifth to end fighting that has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced more than 2.5 million others since 2003.
But African Union peacekeepers have been unable to stop militia attacks on civilians since then. Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.