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Pope demands food aid reach starving people of Tigray

Tigray is a region of northern Ethiopia, where Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers are blocking food and other assistance.
Credit: AP
Pope Francis delivers his message during the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, June 13, 2021. Francis demanded during his speech for humanitarian aid to reach residents of the war-torn Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, where Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers are blocking food and other assistance. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

ROME, Metropolitan City of Rome — Pope Francis is demanding that humanitarian aid reach hungry people in the war-torn Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, where Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers are blocking food and other assistance.

Francis called for an immediate end to fighting in Tigray, the return of social harmony, and for “all food aid and health care assistance to be guaranteed.” 

Speaking at his Sunday noon blessing, Francis said he was thinking of the people of Tigray who have been “struck by a grave humanitarian crisis that has exposed the poorest to famine." 

The United Nations and aid groups say more than 350,000 people in Tigray face famine and that 2 million more are a step away from the worst famine since 2011 in Somalia.