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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

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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