Pope Francis is sending thousands of dollars to support ongoing relief efforts for survivors of a devastating typhoon that struck the Philippines in December.
A statement said that 100,000 euros (P5.8 million) was going for the victims of typhoon “Odette” that killed more than 400 people and has affected around 7 million others.
The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development said the fund is an initial contribution for the worst-hit dioceses and would be administered through the apostolic nunciature in Manila.
The dicastery noted that it is intended to be “an immediate expression of the Holy Father’s feeling of spiritual closeness and paternal encouragement towards the people and territories affected.”
“This contribution, which accompanies the prayer in support of the beloved Filipino population, is part of the aid that is being activated throughout the Catholic Church and that involves, in addition to various episcopal conferences, numerous charitable organizations,” it added.
As of Jan. 12, the Catholic Church in the Philippines has already assisted more than 180,000 families hardly affected by the typhoon.
According to Caritas Philippines, this is worth more than P63 million of food packs, potable water, shelter materials, hygiene kits, and other essential emergency items.
The Vatican said that the pope had also given the same amount in aid to migrants stranded at the border between Poland and Belarus.
It said the funds would also help Caritas Poland, the country’s biggest charitable organization, “to deal with the migration emergency”.