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Famine in South Sudan; papal appeal for aid

February 22, 2017

An estimated 100,000 people in South Sudan are on the verge of starvation, and some 4.9 million are in urgent need to assistance, according to international relief agencies.

At the conclusion of his regular public audience on Wednesday, February 22, Pope Francis spoke of the desperate situation in South Sudan, “were a fratricidal conflict joins a severe food crisis,” threatening millions with starvation. “At this time it is more necessary than ever for us all to not only make statements, but also to make commitments to providing real aid in the form of food supplies and to ensure they reach the suffering peoples,” the Pontiff said.

Fergus Conmee, an official of the English bishops’ relief agency (CAFOD), said, “I’ve been an aid worker for many years, and I am extremely cautious about using the word ‘famine,’ but … our worst fears have come to pass.”

“Amid the rising needs elsewhere in the world, now is not the time for the international community to walk away from South Sudan, they must sit up and notice, and together we must do all that we can to save lives,” Conmee added.

An estimated 3.4 million South Sudanese have fled their homes since civil war began in 2013.


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