Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - Caritas Internationalis is in the Commission for Covid-19 wanted by Pope Francis and, together with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD), will coordinate the first working group of the Commission dedicated to to the listening and support of the local Churches. "Over 140 Episcopal Conferences replied to a questionnaire indicating which are the most urgent needs in the respective countries and which programs have been put in place to deal with the spread of the pandemic. This will allow us, in synergy with the Dicastery, to provide adequate answers", explains Aloysius John, CI Secretary-General.
"In Africa, the Middle East, South America, Oceania and Europe, Caritas is at the forefront of the response to COVID-19, even in areas where no other organization operates. Our work is a living testimony of the Church's mission at the service of the most vulnerable and of the entire human family".
The note sent to Agenzia Fides notes that the Fund will give priority to the provision of health care services by Catholic organizations and Caritas. These include the prevention and control of infections, access to clean water and sanitation, the supply of personal protective equipment (face masks, gloves, etc.), as well as awareness and dissemination of information to prevent infection and strengthening services to support communities aimed at ensuring food security.
Designed to be a visible sign of the solidarity of the universal Church, this global fund will allow Caritas and other Catholic organizations to continue their work of assistance and at the same time to introduce preventive measures aimed at limiting the infection of the virus, with particular attention to those countries where the spread of the epidemic would have far more devastating consequences than those we have witnessed in Europe.
The first requests for help have already arrived, but the ability to respond will depend on the funds that can be collected. "Today we are all united in fear - Aloysius John concludes - but we should also be united in solidarity through universal brotherhood". (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 17/4/2020)