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Friday, 11 July 1975

In this Jubilee Year, it is our duty to be especially aware of all forms of suffering and misery, both individual and collective. We have already had the occasion to mention some of these in the course of our talks, notably the cases of suffering caused by war and its aftermath. Today we wish to draw attention to a natural disaster, one that has been talked about in recent years but which no longer seems to attract the interest that it previously had: we mean the disaster of drought, and particularly the drought that has struck Africa. Whole regions have been severely affected by this disaster - from Somalia and Ethiopia in the east to the Cape Verde Islands in the west. There are still arriving today horrifying accounts similar to those which previously so greatly moved the Charity and solidarity of peoples - both Christians and non-Christians. The Sahel too, if it does not experience more favourable climatic conditions, is not yet at the end of its trials, and the work of consolidating the struggle against the advance of the desert is still as urgent as ever. To all men of good will we propose these pressing needs of Africa.


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