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Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.

Agencies ramping up Syria aid efforts amid 'massive' drop in agricultural production

2013-02-10

According to the report, agriculture, the livelihood for 8 million Syrians, half of the entire population, has seen a dramatic decline during the past year, as a civil war rages on around the country.

DOMINIQUE BURGEON
Director, FAO Emergency and Rehabilitation Division
"The World Food Programme as we speak is providing food assistance to a very large number, currently I think they are reaching 1.5 million people but that is increasing by the day.”

ERTHARIN COUSIN
Executive Director, UN World Food Programme
"This is a challenge that the entire global community must work together to address. No child should go hungry because of the conflict in Syria.”

The FAO report says farmers in Syria are unable to plant, irrigate or harvest their crops, causing a "massive drop” in output. The result not only affects their livelihoods, but also reduces the food supply for surrounding communities, causing shortages or a spike in prices. Officials say the poorest people are always the worst affected.

The crisis, already so severe, has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee to neighboring countries. That adds to the difficulty for aid agencies to deliver the help.

DOMINIQUE BURGEON
Director, FAO Emergency and Rehabilitation Division
"Unfortunately we cannot predict how long this situation will last but it is clear that the longer it will last the longer it will take for the country to recover.”

The recovery efforts are well under way. The World Food Programme continues to feed 1.5 million people inside the country. By June of this year, they'll reach an additional one million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.

Meanwhile, the FAO will distribute seeds, fertilizers and irrigation tools to farmers to help them start over.

And while both UN agencies operate at the national government levels, dozens of other aid groups like Caritas Lebanon or Caritas Jordan are also on the ground in Syria, doing their part to alleviate the suffering of a deeply troubled population.


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