Chaos and Mass Exodus amidst coronavirus in India
Developed countries, despite the strong health care systems, have been hit hard by COVID-19 especially neighbouring countries such as Italy, Spain, UK. The lockdown has had enormous costs in developing communities, where having basic health care, they already struggle. For families in poverty who have few or no savings and cannot afford to stockpile food and other necessities means a break in income and missing work directly related to missing meals and dying of starvation.
Moreover, densely populated cities had higher risks of virus transmission and with no opportunity for work triggered a mass exodus of the working poor from cities back to their home in villages. Deprived of income or transport, many including elderly, pregnant woman and children have walked hundreds of kilometres and, apart from the pandemic, many have died of exhaustion or accidents.
Purpose of the Covid Fund
The Holy Father has established an emergency fund at the Pontifical Mission Societies, in order to come to the aid to communities in emergency, like the ones in India.
“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 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”Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
Pope Francis makes first contribution
Pope Francis has not only opened the fund, he is also the first to contribute to it. The initial contribution made by the Pope is €750,000. He appeals to all “Church entities” and individuals who “are able and desirous to help, to contribute to this fund through the Pontifical Mission Societies in each country”.