Pope prays for Nigeria flood victims

2010-09-29 16:08

Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI is praying for the victims of floods in northern Nigeria that have left two million people homeless.

Benedict told his weekly general audience on Wednesday that a "grave humanitarian crisis" was under way, given that the floods destroyed crops just as harvest time was to begin.

Speaking in English, Benedict said he wanted to assure Nigerians of his "spiritual closeness" and prayers.

The weekend floods began when two swollen dams overflowed; some 40 people were killed and 2 million displaced.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation says the floods came at the worst possible time, just before harvest, when it's too late for farmers to replant fields of millet, sorghum and cowpea.