Roman Catholic relief organisations announced on Thursday (June 7) that they have given 200,000 U.S.?
EXT OF ST PETER CHURCH TO THE VATICAN BUILDING WHERE IS THE CONFERENCE.
SGV. TO C. V. OF FATHER HENRY DE RIEDMATTEN (GENERAL-SECRETARY OF "COR UNUM" SPEAKS IN FRANCE.
FATHER HENRY DE RIEDMATTEN SPEAKS IN ENGLISH.
PICTURE OF POPE PAUL
"In England where I was a few months back we talked about the drought. We were shocked by the 200 million Indians who have been affected by the consequences of the drought today. A problem was posed to Europe's conscience as to that of the developed world because it doubled the problem of the drought, the problem of the Sahel (countries bordering the Sahara Desert) and of the six countries of the Sahel. But here in Cor Unum and elsewhere calls reach us from a series of other countries of Africa and elsewhere. We can say that in practically all the tropical zones of Africa and localised nearby zones, the people have begun to feel the menace, in countries which seemed not to be affected like Nigeria and the Ivory Coast."
"We had yesterday the conviction that practically the organisations are well ready to work. But of course, as ready as they may be, they will never be able to operate if they are not backed by a powerful effort of Christian generosity and of the generosity of all people. And this is really what we feel our mission and our duty is at Cor Unum. We have in the past and we hope we were yesterday complying with it, to give an opportunity for the technical study of the situation and to take the first technical decisions and operational decisions. But we have the other duty. It is really to mobilise all the people of God."
VATICAN; CONFERENCE BUILDING; FATHER DE RIEDMATTEN SPEAKING; NEWSMEN LISTENING; PORTRAIT OF POPE PAUL.
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Background: Roman Catholic relief organisations announced on Thursday (June 7) that they have given 200,000 U.S. dollars (GBP83,300 sterling) to help six western African countries facing a disastrous drought.
A further 200,000 dollars has been asked for by local churches. The contribution was announced at a Press conference given by Father Menri de Riedmatten, the Swies Secretary of "Cor Unum" the body set up by Pope Paul to co-ordinate Roman Catholic relief operations.
A special Cor Unum meeting had been held on Wednesday (June 6) to discuss the situation in the six countries - Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Upper Volta and Chad.
Cardinal Paul Zoungrana, the Archbishop of Ouagadougou, Upper Volta appealed at the meeting for increased Catholic aid. Representatives from Roman Catholic bishops in all six countries were present.
Father de Riesdmatten said the first 200,000 dollars would be weed to send seeds to the six countries by next month for immediate planting. Seed stocks have had to be saten in many areas to keep people alive.
Further Catholic aid would be aimed at digging new artesian wells to find water in the area -- the sub-Sahelian zone along the southern edge of the Sahara desert.
According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation, hundreds of thousands of cattle diedling the prolopoged drough and human lives are endangered.
Last week the United Nations Childrens Fund announced it was giving 200,000 dollars to the same six countries for food and food distribution.
Father de Riedmatten spoke in French and English.
Cor Unum or 'One Heart' (as it is translated in Latin), is a committee set up by the Vatican to deal with problems of under developed countries. Its administrative body is formed from various members of Vatican offices and it is a kind of unifying body for various Vatican charity organisations. Today's press conference was called to discuss the Cor Unum congress yesterday on the drought problems of India and Africa.