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Somali grateful for emergency aid, still needs stability, reports Catholic leader

Catholic World News - October 12, 2011

The top Catholic prelate in Somalia has expressed thanks for the worldwide response to provide relief for the victims of famine in the Horn of Africa—while adding that Somalia’s chaotic political situation is aggravating the crisis there.

"I am very pleased with the response of the Catholic world to the Holy Father’s appeal for Somalia and other countries in the Horn of Africa," Bishop Giorgio Bertin, the apostolic administrator of Djibouti, told the Fides news service. He reported that Church agencies have quickly raised more than €60 million ($83 million) in relief funds.

“Our concern is to go beyond the emergency phase, so that in the future, humanitarian crises like this will not occur," the bishop added. The challenge of reviving agricultural production is particularly difficult in Somalia, where the country has not had a functioning central government for 20 years, and persistent conflicts among rival militia groups have impoverished the country and made planning nearly impossible.

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