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Pope sees 'urgent' challenges to G8

Pope Benedict XVI said on Sunday that the G8 world powers that met in Italy last week faced an "urgent" challenge to root out inequality and injustice.

world Updated: Jul 12, 2009 22:10 IST

Pope Benedict XVI said on Sunday that the G8 world powers that met in Italy last week faced an "urgent" challenge to root out inequality and injustice.

Subjects on the agenda at the Group of Eight (G8) rich nations' summit "were in some cases dramatically urgent," he told thousands of worshippers on Saint Peter's square for his weekly Angelus prayer service.

"In the world there are social inequalities and intolerable structural injustices which demand... a coordinated strategy to seek lasting global solutions."

In a letter ahead of the summit, Benedict had called on the G8 nations to "upgrade" their development aid to Africa and the world's poorest countries in spite of the financial crisis.

The G8 leaders later agreed to increase a 15 billion dollar pledge for food security to 20 billion over three years, after being joined by African heads of state on Friday.

The money is to be used to provide credit and technology to farmers in the developing world and help them get access to markets.

Benedict also said he was following with "great concern" the recent political instability in Honduras, whose president Manuel Zelaya was ousted by soldiers on June 28.

The Pope prayed for "dialogue... and reconciliation" in the Roman Catholic country.