The Holy Father has established an emergency fund at the Pontifical Mission Societies, in order to come to the aid of those people and communities who are being tragically impacted by the spread of COVID-19. The Emergency Fund will be used to accompany impacted communities in mission countries via Church structures and institutions, the Vatican said in a statement April 6, 2020.
Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, welcomes the announcement: “In her task of evangelization, the Church is often on the front lines of major threats to human well-being. In Africa alone, there are over 74,000 religious sisters and over 46,000 priests operating 7,274 hospitals and clinics, 2,346 homes for the elderly and the vulnerable, and educating over 19 million children in 45,088 primary schools. In many rural areas, they are the only providers of healthcare and education.” He continued, “The Holy Father is calling upon the Church’s entire vast network to face the challenges ahead.”
The Holy Father has designated US $ 750,000 as an initial contribution for the fund and has asked that those Church entities that are able and desirous to help, to contribute to this fund through the Pontifical Mission Societies in each country.