Pope draws attention to humanitarian crisis in Somalia

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Pope Francis said on Sunday that the war in Ukraine had distracted attention from the problem of world hunger and called for urgent food aid to avoid the looming famine in Somalia.

“The people of this region, who already live in very precarious conditions, are now in mortal danger because of the drought,” the pontiff said in his weekly address in St. Peter’s Square, referring to the Horn of Africa.

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said this month that it could officially declare starvation in eight regions of Somalia next month if livestock continue to die, prices of key commodities rise further and humanitarian assistance fails to reach most vulnerable.

Francis told pilgrims and tourists in the square that he wanted to draw attention “to the serious humanitarian crisis that has hit Somalia and some areas of neighboring countries.”

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The UN refugee agency UNHCR and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said last week that around one million people have been internally displaced in Somalia since January.

UN agencies have called for more funding to help prevent famine in Somalia, which is one of the countries most susceptible to climate vulnerability.

“I hope that international solidarity can respond efficiently to this emergency,” Francis said. “Unfortunately, the war (in Ukraine) has distracted attention and resources, but these are the goals that require the utmost commitment – ​​the fight against hunger, health, education.”

*Posted by Daniel Reis

Source: CNN Brasil

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