Holy See Representative Cardinal Peter Turkson announced that the Humanitarian Initiative of Pope Francis has gathered 16 million euros worth of assistance in two years to Ukrainians affected by the war in the Donbas. “The church sends help whenever a war like the east of Ukraine breaks out, just as we did for Syria, Iraq, and Sudan,” Hromadske.TV, quotes the Cardinal as saying.
According to him, priority was given to the reconstruction of damaged houses and their insulation, as well as the work of medical teams in hard-to-reach areas, a provision of essential commodities, and children's camps for psychological help to war-affected children in the front-line cities.
The initiative’s initial term has already ended but representatives of the Vatican assured that Pope Francis would not stop helping Ukraine.
“During the last meeting with the Holy Father, I saw an idea in his eyes. He hasn’t told it completely yet. Of course, there is no money left, so we need to think about some other decision. The Holy Father told me to think something over and make specific proposals," said the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti.
Nearly 16 million euros were raised at the initiative of the Pope in 2016, 11 million of which were in Catholic parishes in Europe and another 5 from the Pope’s own fund. In the end, these funds were used to help people across the inter-entity boundary line.
Help was provided to people who stayed to live in the cities and villages of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, as well as in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovs’k, Zaporizhia, Kyiv Oblast and Kyiv. These are regions with the largest number of people, who fled the war.
Assistance was provided to elderly, seriously ill patients, single mothers, pregnant women and large families who are experiencing difficulties, affected children, and people with disabilities.
Pope Francis has repeatedly called for an immediate end to the war in Ukraine.