Pope Francis has appealed for the hard-hit people of 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”.
He called on all involved to “commit not to stop at making statements, but also to provide concrete food aid and to allow it to reach suffering populations”.
The Holy Father also prayed that the Lord sustain “these our brothers and all those working to help them”.
South Sudan’s government officially declared a famine in some parts of the country on Monday.
The United Nations has warned that areas hardest hit by war and a collapsing economy have left about 100,000 people facing starvation, while one million others are at risk of famine.
Trócaire has been working in South Sudan for over 40 years. Trócaire’s current programme borders Unity county- where the fighting has been at its worst and the famine has just been declared. Some of the 12,000 people Trócaire is supporting fled from the worst fighting in that region. Families left their homes with nothing and no means of feeding their children.
Up to now Trócaire’s support included water points, food aid, cooking oil and simple kitchen utensils for families. But in recent weeks support has focused exclusively on food aid in response to the growing emergency in the region.