Pope Francis has donated €25,000 to the efforts by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) towards supporting people facing food insecurity and famine in East Africa.
This is contained in a letter written to FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva by Monsignor Fernando Chica Arellano, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN food agencies in Rome.
Pope Francis said the funds are “a symbolic contribution to an FAO programme that provides seeds to rural families in areas affected by the combined effects of conflicts and drought.”
The Head of the Vatican who made the pledge while speaking at the FAO’s Conference earlier this month said he was inspired by the desire to encourage Governments.
Famine was declared in parts of South Sudan in February and while the situation has eased after a significant scaling up in the humanitarian response, some 6 million people in the country are still struggling to find enough food every day.
Meanwhile the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in five other East African countries – Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – is currently estimated at about 16 million, which marks an increase of about 30 percent since late 2016.