Pope Francis has donated respirators to several Syrian hospitals and diagnostic kits to Gaza to help aid against the coronavirus pandemic, the Holy See said in a statement today.
Specifically, ten lung ventilators will reach three hospitals in Syria, in collaboration with the AVSI Foundation, one of the international organizations that operate in that country and that collaborates with three centers in the "Open Hospitals" project.
Aid will also go to the Holy Land: Three other ventilators will go to the "San Giuseppe" hospital in Jerusalem, Gaza will receive diagnostic kits and an "extraordinary contribution" will be offered to the "Holy Family" hospital in Bethlehem.
Aid has been channeled through the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, following the suggestions of the apostolic nunciatures, and in addition, requests from other places are being studied.
On the other hand, the Congregation has guaranteed the aid that it allocates each year to Catholic schools and universities and to support programs for displaced persons from Syria and Iraq and refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
This "despite the economic uncertainty", the note reads.
The Congregation for the Eastern Churches has instituted an Emergency Fund following the pope's guidelines to "not leave alone those who suffer" and the "poorest" in the fight against the "world emergency" caused by the coronavirus.
The contribution comes thanks to the collaboration of the Catholic Association for the Middle East (CNEWA) and other agencies that make up the Meeting of Works to Help the Eastern Churches (ROACO), which will guarantee some donations.
There is also what was collected in the so-called collection of the Holy Land, which this year will take place on September 13 instead of Good Friday.