After cancelling a planned trip with Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury this year, Pope Francis is sending close to half a million dollars (£7,898,942) to help two church-run hospitals, a teacher training centre and farming projects for families as a way to show the people there his solidarity and support

Cardinal Peter Turkson  the prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development told reporters at Vatican Wednesday that the pope:

“Wants to make tangible the presence and closeness of the church with the suffering people through this initiative ‘The Pope for South Sudan,'”

“He fervently hopes to be able to go there as soon as possible on an official visit to the nation; the church does not shut hope out of such an afflicted area,” said the cardinal

An official visit was meant to draw the world’s attention to a silent tragedy, give voice to those suffering, and encourage conflicting parties to make renewed and greater efforts in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict, the cardinal said.

The initiative is meant to supplement, support and encourage the ongoing work of religious congregations, Catholic organisations and international aid groups on the ground that “generously and tirelessly” help the people and promote peace and development, the cardinal said.