Pope appeals for famine-hit South Sudan

Pope appeals for famine-hit South Sudan

Vatican City: Pope Francis on Wednesday urged concrete action to get food aid to war-ravaged South Sudan, where famine is threatening the lives of millions of people.

“Of particular concern is the painful news coming from suffering South Sudan, where a fratricidal conflict is compounded by a severe food crisis, which has hit the Horn of Africa region and condemns to death by starvation millions of people, including many children,” said Francis.

He called on governments and international organisations to “commit not to stop at making statements, but also to provide concrete food aid and to allow it to reach suffering populations”.

The United Nations warned earlier this week that areas of South Sudan hardest hit by a three-year-long civil war and a collapsing economy have left about 100,000 people facing starvation while millions of others are at risk of famine.

South Sudan’s government officially declared a famine in some parts of the country on Monday.

There have been warnings of famine in Yemen, Somalia and north-eastern Nigeria, but South Sudan – the world’s youngest country – is the first to declare one.