ASIA/MYANMAR - Mobilization of the Church of Pathein to bring food aid to the poorest during the Covid-19 pandemic

Thursday, 26 November 2020 charity   solidarity   voluntary work   humanitarian aid   pandemic  

Pathein (Agenzia Fides) - With the help of generous donors and volunteers, the diocese of Pathein, thanks to the personal commitment of Bishop John Hsane Hgyi, provides humanitarian aid and food to those in a state of poverty due to the of Covid-19 pandemic. As the local Church reports to Fides, thanks to the Bishop's online preaching and reflections on the Gospel of the day, offered and disseminated daily, donations are collected in favor of the needy. During a recent online preaching, the Bishop asked a connected family what they had for dinner. The family replied: "Nothing". Community mobilization was then triggered in favor of this family. Thanks to the donations received, the Bishop mobilized volunteers to feed the poorest, the needy and the vulnerable, regardless of their religious affiliation.
Father Felix Soe Win, parish priest in Pathein, and Father Peter Saw Ngwe, Bishop's Secretary, guide the distribution of essential goods to the poor with the help of lay people and young people. More than 1,446 poor people from the villages around Myaugnmya, Latbuta and Pathein have received support from the Catholic community.
"We hope that we can continue to help the poorest communities with basic necessities during the period of the global health crisis. Among the poor, Christ makes himself present. We seek to witness His love to everyone, with words and deeds", the remarked to Fides the Bishop Hsane Hgyi, in the south of Myanmar, with about 60,000 Catholics.
"In the midst of the pandemic, which has mortified all economic activities, many have lost their sources of livelihood. We are called to help each other. We are alongside Bishop Hgyi to help poor communities", says Nant Khan Khan, a young volunteer, to Fides.
According to a recent study by the International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI), which monitors food security in Myanmar during the second wave of Covid-19, a third of families said they had, in the last month, zero income. "This level of poverty poses enormous risks in terms of food insecurity and malnutrition", notes the IFPRI. "Although necessary to control the virus, the lockdowns have had a disastrous impact on poverty and must be accompanied by government contributions of solidarity, aimed at the poorest and most vulnerable, if the economic and social damage is to be contained", notes the Institute.
Meanwhile, the government in Myanmar is discussing whether to loosen the restrictions imposed, with the aim of reviving the country's economy. The measure to loosen the protocols that limit the internal movement of people and goods is under consideration, even if the country recorded a 74% increase in infections last week, with more than 11 thousand new infections. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 26/11/2020)