Pope Francis gift helps hungry in South Sudan - FAO

Pontiff's donation provides money for seeds

(ANSA) - Rome, November 13 - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Monday that hungry families in South Sudan will be able to make ends meet thanks to vegetable-growing kits funded by a donation from Pope Francis. The kits come as the food security situation is forecast to worsen in coming months, the Rome-based UN agency said. Around 5,000 families, or more than 30,000 people, in Yei in Central Equatoria have benefited from the recent €25,000 contribution from the Pope to FAO. The money is being used to provide the kits and agricultural hand tools in an area where livelihoods such as farming have been wiped out by fighting. "Before the war, life was good and we could eat sufficiently, now just some little breakfast and dinner. My child still cries that he's hungry," said 22-year-old Suzan Night who was among those who received the kits from FAO in Yei. "Onions and tomatoes can be sold at the market which will really help me".
    "These vegetable kits can be the difference between life and death for many people," said Serge Tissot, FAO's Representative in South Sudan. "Thanks to Pope Francis' contribution, more people in Yei will be able to re-start growing their own food to stave off the worst ravages of hunger," he said.
    The kits will provide seven fast-growing vegetable varieties to increase families' access to nutritious foods and bridge the food gap between the cereal harvests.