The world responds to COVID-19
Various Pontifical Mission Societies (Catholic Mission) offices around the globe are joining together in prayer and solidarity in response to this unprecedented global emergency.
In Germany, Missio’s National Director in Munich, Msgr. Wolfgang Huber expressed great concern for those living in communities we partner with. ‘We are watching with great concern how the Coronavirus spreads in our project countries in Africa and Asia,’ he said. ‘Inadequate hygiene standards in the poor areas, poor local infrastructure, and the often-dilapidated health systems in many countries threaten to make the spread of the virus a disaster.
‘These countries are unable to face the effects of the pandemic in the same way that we can do it.’
Although there are limited reports of cases in Africa at the moment, malnutrition and gaps in healthcare make populations especially vulnerable, and a lack of finances makes treatment and vaccination inaccessible.
In Madagascar people are trying anything to guard themselves against the virus, says Msgr. Marie Fabien Raharilamboniaina. ’The population is afraid. It is sad to see the poor who have nothing to protect themselves. Yesterday I went to the market and saw them looking for a lemon because lemon is considered a cure for the virus.’
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Cardinal Baltazar Porras in Venezuela is determined to continue providing on-the-ground support to affected communities. ‘Let us help each other and not only worry about ourselves, but we must also think of those who need it most, the poor and excluded,’ he said.
Missio England and Wales is focused on working as a global community to support those affected and get through this challenging time together. ‘Almost every hour we hear fresh and often worsening news about the coronavirus and the impact it is having,’ said the organisation’s National Director, Fr Tony Chantry. ‘We’re reminded how closely we are all connected to, and dependant on, each other across God’s world. Our international Missio network, at one with the whole Church, will play its vital role of providing care and spiritual support.’