From: Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
11 Oct 2011

 

Pope Benedict XVI has made his second appeal on behalf of the 13.5 million men, women and children at risk of starvation in nations across the drought-stricken Horn of Africa.

Meeting with the Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu, Bishop Giorgio Bertin, and the President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Cardinal Robert Sarah, which oversees Catholic aid and development organisations such Caritas, the Holy Father expressed his concern at the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.

“I renew my heartfelt appeal to the international community to continue its commitment to these people,” he urged. “At the same time, I invite everyone to offer prayers and concrete support to so many sorely-tried brothers and sisters, particularly the children in the area who are dying every day.”

The Pontiff’s latest appeal comes on the heels of a report by Caritas of the deteriorating situation in urban environments across Kenya.

In responding to the crisis, Pope Benedict XVI has personally donated $(AU)80,000. In addition under his direction a further 60 million euros ($AU 80 million) has given to the aid effort through the Vatican’s Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

The Australian Government has also given $110 million in funds to help those suffering from malnourishment and malnutrition across the Horn of Africa.

The nations affected by the worst drought in more than 60 years where rains are not expected to arrive for another five months include Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Northern Kenya and Southern Sudan.

“It is the worst humanitarian disaster we have seen in six decades but if we don’t act quickly it may end up as one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of all time,” Mr de Groot warns.

To find out more log on to Caritas at www.caritas.org.au/eastafricacrisis or call 1800 024 413.

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