For 20 million people, conflict added to drought means no food to eat

A 2-year-old girl ate a meal in an internally displaced camp in Riimenze, South Sudan, April 29. Up to 20 million people in South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and northeast Nigeria face the prospect of famine this year.

Conflict and drought are threatening more than 20 million people in four countries with the prospect of famine, and the U.N. has called this food crisis the largest humanitarian crisis since the world body was formed more than 70 years ago.

Additional resources and funding are needed "to pull people back from the brink of famine" in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria, the U.N. Security Council wrote Aug. 9 in a statement that commended efforts by international donors to provide humanitarian assistance for the crises in these countries.

With Rome in drought, Vatican shuts off fountains

In St. Peter’s Square, one 100 public Vatican fountains is dry, part of an effort to conserve water through a drought in the region.

VATICAN CITY — While Rome reels from one of its worst droughts in decades, the Vatican is conserving water by shutting down the city-state's 100 fountains.

The office governing Vatican City State announced July 25 that the drought has "led the Holy See to take measures aimed at saving water" by shutting down fountains in St. Peter's Square, throughout the Vatican Gardens and in the territory of the state.

Drought conditions persist, affect rural areas

Hubie Kluesner stood in the pasture of his family farm in Marthasville. The farmer struggles through the winter by feeding his cattle with silage, a fermented, high-moisture fodder made of corn plants.

The farmer in a rural community in Franklin County thought things were lining up so he could get a loan to purchase additional livestock.

"The bank was willing to give him a loan until they heard it was for agriculture," said Maria Killian of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at Holy Family Parish in Port Hudson. "The banks aren't doing agriculture loans. I thought, 'Are you kidding? They can't get a loan to get back on their feet.' It's really a pickle."

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