Africa

Bishops seek food relief as Kenya declares drought area national disaster

The Kenyan government declared the country's drought a national disaster, three days after Catholic bishops requested such an action.

The bishops appealed for food relief Feb. 7, in an effort to get help from other countries. Reliefweb, a specialized digital service of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said in the last year, Kenya's food insecurity had nearly doubled, so that now 1.25 million people are affected. The drought has also affected livestock and wildlife in 23 of Kenya's 47 counties.

Severe drought brings starving Kenyans to church doorsteps

Drought in Eastern Africa: In Thatha, about 93 miles northeast of Nairobi, a severe drought has left many families without food, water and pasture for their livestock. "The rains are our greatest disappointment," Agnes Mwikali, a 40-year-old mother said. "Every season, we plant our seeds and watch the crops germinate, only for the rains to leave before they mature."

Congo's bishops hope to save peace pact, but see no will to act quickly

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Congo's bishops are urgently seeking to rescue a government-opposition peace accord, reached in the final minutes of 2016.

"Our latest meeting should have covered the question of governance - but contacts between the political actors are, unfortunately, not yet realized," the bishops' conference said Jan. 24. "We have retired to consider what next, after concluding there was no real will to tackle the problems quickly."

Catholic leaders in Congo welcome church-mediated accord

Peace talks in Congo: Catholic leaders in Congo said they hope for lasting peace, after the bishops' conference helped mediate a government-opposition accord. "We're all saluting this great step, the fruit of a dialogue arranged by the church," said Msgr. Leonard Santedi Kinkupu, rector of Kinshasa's Catholic University and former of secretary-general of the bishops' conference.

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April 21-May 4, 2017

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