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A worthy papal project

VATICAN (SE): The Managing Board of the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel held its annual meeting from March 7 to 11 in Dhakar, Senegal, to examine projects awaiting funding, alongside other matters.

During 2015 there were 91 projects already funded, with a total value of almost US$1 million ($7.45 million).

The John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel, formed in 1984, sponsors a series of projects to assist the countries in the zone (Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegala and Chad).

It runs projects against desertification, in defence of the environment, for the management and development of agricultural units, the installation of water pumps, the improvement of drinking water and development of renewable energy.

It is engaged in training specialised technical staff and over the years has become an effective  means of interreligious dialogue, as the majority of its beneficiaries are Muslim.

It is administered by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, with special collaboration from the Italian Episcopal Conference, the German Bishops’ Conference and local communities.


The Vatican Information Service reported that the Sahel has a population of 100 million, 25 million of whom live in an extremely precarious nutritional situation, while six million children below the age of five suffer from malnutrition. One of the main problems is the exhaustion of natural resources.

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