More than 30,000 people living in the village of Yei in the Central Equatorial State of South Sudan will benefit from the gift that Pope Francis made to FAO last July, amounting to 25,000 euros, announced the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization on Monday, November 13, 2017.
The amount will be used to furnish kits of seven varieties of fast-growing vegetables as well as agricultural tools, to more than 5,000 families, in an area where agriculture was destroyed by the fighting.
“Thanks to Pope Francis’ contribution, people in Yei will be able to take up again their agricultural production and escape from the ravages of hunger,” explained Serge Tissot, FAO’s representative in South Sudan. “These kits, geared to the production of vegetables can play a vital role in the life of numerous people,” he added.
“We are so grateful,” said Jeremiah Taban, Pastor of the Episcopal Church of Yei. “People are really suffering in South Sudan and weep so that peace will come. If Pope Francis could see us, he would be truly upset, because no human being should live like this,” he added.
Some 145,000 people in the Central Equatorial State will face an urgent food insecurity situation, while in the rest of the South Sudanese territory, 4.8 million people are facing grave food insecurity.
The food security situation should deteriorate at the beginning of 2018, FAO pointed out, and “the hunger season” – during which families lack food before the next harvest – will begin three months earlier than foreseen.