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Aid to the people of Haiti

· The Pontiff sends a first contribution through ‘Cor Unum’ Aid to the people of Haiti ·

Through the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Pope Francis has sent a first contribution of 100,000 dollars to assist the peoples of the Caribbean — particularly those in Haiti — who were recently struck by Hurricane Matthew. The announcement was made in a press release on 14 October. In cooperation with the Apostolic Nunciature, through the local Church, the sum will distributed among the dioceses most tried by the disaster and will be used to support assistance operations for the flood victims. It is a first and immediate tangible expression of the Pontiff’s feelings of spiritual closeness and fatherly encouragement for the people in the affected territories.

This contribution is included in the network of aid that was immediately initiated in the entire Catholic Church and which has involved various episcopal conferences and many charitable organizations. Caritas Haiti, in connection with Caritas Internationalis, immediately launched a first urgent appeal for aid to be sent to 2,700 families (13,500 people), for the acquisition and distribution of 2,700 food kits, the provision of 2,700 hygiene kits and the activation of programmes to advise the general public and raise awareness for the prevention of contagious diseases.

Coordinated aid efforts are also being carried out on the international level. Brazil’s Minister of Defence announced the dispatch of 10 tons of aid to be sent to the population of Haiti, to include foodstuffs, personal hygiene products, disinfectants, school books, clothing and other basic necessities, as well as 75 prefabricated housing units. un Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited the areas on the island devastated by the hurricane, which claimed an estimated 500 lives. The un has launched an appeal for the collection of 120 million dollars to respond to the needs of the displaced people over the next three months. Haiti is one of the poorest countries of the world and is also faced with the consequences of the deadly earthquake that killed 200,000 in 2010 and caused an outbreak of cholera that has still not been eradicated.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 24, 2017

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