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Famine hits 350,000 in Tigray, Pope demands aid for the people

Pope Francis blesses attendees at the end of the weekly general audience on June 09, 2021 at San Damaso courtyard in The Vatican.   -  
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Pope Francis is demanding humanitarian aid be delivered to residents of the war-torn Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, where Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers are blocking food and other assistance.

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."

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

The United Nations and aid groups say more than 350,000 people in Tigray are suffering famine, with millions more at risk of it.

The Pope also recalled the recent World Day against Child Labour, saying it was not possible to look away from "the exploitation of children who are deprived of the right to play, to study and to dream."

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