By Arnold Neliba
JUBA, SEPTEMBER 17, 2021 (CISA) – The Catholic Bishops of South Sudan has appealed for increased assistance from the international community, expressing concern over the worsening humanitarian situation in the country.
“Refugees and IDPs need resources as they return home in some areas, while elsewhere others are still being displaced. We thank our Caritas agencies and the international community for their assistance, but we also urge them to increase their support,” reads a pastoral message dated September 15.
“As South Sudan experiences floods, environmental pollution, deforestation and the decline of wildlife, we recall that care of creation is another of the values of Catholic Social Teaching. As the entire world faces climate change of crisis proportions, we call on our government and citizens to protect and nurture God’s creation,” reads the statement.
The prelates also noted that the country has been suffering from the effects of COVID-19 and appealed to the masses to not only protect themselves but also others by adhering to the preventive measures and taking the jab.
“We urge people not to be misled by “fake news” and rumours about the effectiveness of vaccines. We align ourselves with the Holy Father and many other Catholic bishops’ conferences in advising everyone to receive the vaccination and to take sensible precautions such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing,” the bishops said.
Recalling the words of Pope Francis that getting vaccinated is “an act of love… a simple but profound way of promoting the common good and caring for each other, especially the most vulnerable” the bishops thanked Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for showing an example by leading from the front by getting vaccinated.
The bishops encouraged religious institutions and the clergy to be strong in faith and hope and continue working towards justice and peace in South Sudan.
According to the United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) about 380,000 people from six states in South Sudan have been displaced by flash floods and numerous waves of inter-communal clashes that has further heightened people’s humanitarian needs.