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Pope Francis Reaches Out to Flood Victims in South Sudan’s Malakal Diocese with Donation

Pope Francis waves to pilgrims during his March 28, 2018 general audience in St. Peter's Square./ Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

Pope Francis has reached out to the people of God affected by floods in South Sudan’s Catholic Diocese of Malakal with a donation of US$75,000.00.

The East-Central African country has been experiencing heavy downpours since May 2021. 

“Following the heavy rains and devastating floods that hit South Sudan last August, displacing over 12,000 persons and causing the damage or destruction of 6,000 homes and extensive material damage, Pope Francis, via the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, has decided to send US$ 75,000 as a contribution to emergency activities and programs to sustain the population in the hard-hit diocese of Malakal,” the Vatican Dicastery announced in a Monday, October 4 message.

The officials of the Dicastery add that the donation “intended to express Pope Francis’ feelings of spiritual closeness and paternal encouragement to the people and territories affected.” 

Such donations, they further say, “accompany prayer and are part of the aid that is being activated throughout the Catholic Church, which also involves numerous charitable organizations.”

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In their August 2021 Humanitarian Snapshot, officials of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said six States in South Sudan have been most affected by the floods. 

The UNOCHA officials added that the humanitarian situation has been worsened by the incessant violence, food insecurity and COVID-19, which has infected 12,064 people in the country, among them 30 deaths and 11,617 recoveries. 

According to The New Humanitarian, South Sudan is experiencing its worst food crisis since it gained independence in July 2011.

On September 2, religious leaders in Western Equatoria State, one of the regions experiencing intercommunal violence, said the people of God who are experiencing “a great humanitarian tragedy” are in urgent need of food and medicine.

The faith-based leaders also condemned the violence that has reportedly led to the loss of at least 200 human lives.

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The Mother Superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Peace in the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY), which covers the Western Equatoria State, also said that two formation programs had been halted and candidates admitted to these programs asked to return home amid tribal violence and insecurity.

In a statement issued September 30, the Bishop Eduardo Hiibiro Kussala of CDTY said the Clergy, women and men Religious and other Church personnel  hailing from the communities in conflict face the challenge of being identified by their respective tribes, a situation that is limiting their ministry.