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Pope Francis sends financial aid to three crisis-hit countries

Vietnam, Bangladesh and Haiti to benefit from donations as they face differing challenges

Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

Published: August 25, 2021 04:47 AM GMT

Updated: August 25, 2021 07:18 AM GMT

Pope Francis sends financial aid to three crisis-hit countries

A newborn baby cries at the Community Reference Hospital in Port-Salut, Haiti on Aug. 18. (Photo: AFP)

Pope Francis will be sending nearly a quarter of a million dollars to help people in Haiti, who are struggling in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake during a global pandemic.

The Vatican's Dicastery for Integral Human Development said in a communique released Aug. 24 that the pope had decided to send "an initial contribution" of US$235,000 to assist the earthquake victims during this "emergency phase," following the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck Haiti on Aug. 14.

At least 2,200 people died, more than 12,000 others were injured and nearly 53,000 houses destroyed, according to local authorities.

The donation is meant to be "an immediate expression" of Pope Francis' "feeling of spiritual closeness and paternal encouragement" for the people there.

The money will be distributed — in collaboration with the Vatican's nunciature in Haiti — to those dioceses most affected by the disaster, the dicastery said. It will add to the aid being sent throughout the Catholic Church thanks to efforts led by bishops' conferences and numerous charitable organizations.

The pope was also sending about $120,000 to the people of Vietnam, who are facing serious difficulties because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vietnam remained relatively unscathed in earlier bouts of the pandemic thanks to successful border restrictions, quarantines, contact tracing and local lockdowns.

However, in the past week, Vietnam registered a record-high average of 10,680 daily cases, according to Johns Hopkins.

The country’s 263,543 of total 358,456 infections and 8,296 of total 8,666 deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded in the past month.

Pope has also decided to send US$ 69,000 aid to Bangladesh to support the victims of Cyclone Yaas that hit in May.

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Cyclone Yaas hit southern Bangladesh and eastern India on May 26, leaving at least 20 dead. It also displaced some 1.3 million people in Bangladesh and some 10 million in India, according to media reports.

In Bangladesh, the cyclone has damaged around 26,000 houses and 1,986 drinking water sources in nine coastal districts.

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