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Pope asks international community to help flood-hit Afghanistan

During his greetings at the General Audience Pope Francis appeals to the international community to step in with aid and support for Afghanistan that has been struck by deadly floods. He also reminds the faithful to pray for peace.

By Linda Bordoni

Pope Francis turned his attention to the people of Afghanistan “who have been severely affected by the tragic floods that have claimed many lives, including children; and continue to destroy many homes”, and he appealed to the international community to provide help.

Speaking on Wednesday morning during the General Audience he said he is praying for the victims, particularly the children and their families.

At least 300 people have been killed in flooding in 18 districts across at least three provinces in northern Afghanistan in the past few days.

According to the United Nations World Food Programme, hundreds more have been injured and it is believed that many people remain buried in the mud.

“I appeal to the international community to immediately provide the necessary aid and support to protect the most vulnerable,” Pope Francis said.

Most of the casualties were reported in Baghlan province, where heavy rains destroyed an estimated 3,000 houses, flooded farmland, washed away livestock, closed schools and damaged health centres.

Takhar and Badakhshan provinces were also impacted with initial reports of at least 300 houses damaged, according to the UN Children’s Fund.

Pray for peace

And as he always does, the Pope reminded believers to continue to pray for peace.

“Let us not forget the tormented Ukraine; let us not forget Palestine, Israel, Myanmar. Let us pray for peace, let us pray for all peoples suffering war. All together, with big hearts, let us pray for definitive peace, and no more war. Because war is always a defeat: always!”

A displaced Palestinian girl in a tent in Rafah

A displaced Palestinian girl in a tent in Rafah

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