VATICAN, JUNE 15, 2021 (CISA) – Pope Francis has called for prayers for the victims of violence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region which is suffering from a serious humanitarian crisis that has exposed them to famine.
“Let us pray together that the violence will cease immediately, that food and health care will be guaranteed to all, and that social harmony will be restored as soon as possible,” Pope Francis said on June 13.
The pope was addressing the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus when he turned his thoughts to the suffering people of Ethiopia’s Tigray region warning that the suffering, a serious humanitarian crisis, could expose the poorest to famine.
According to an analysis by United Nations agencies and global aid groups, more than 350,000 of Tigray’s nearly 6 million people are living in famine conditions and nearly 2 million others are one step away from such dire deprivation.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported on March 1 that 187 children were treated for malnutrition at hospitals covering about a third of Tigray. In April, the number rose to 1,723. In May, it reached 2,931. Healthcare facilities were heavily damaged in the fighting. Women and girls are also being subjected to sexual violence describing it as “a level of cruelty beyond comprehension”