Pope Francis continues to provide charitable support for developing countries as they struggle to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday, the Office of Papal Charities announced that it had arranged for the purchase of 38 ventilators, as well as other medical equipment, which have been sent to nine different countries around the world. The Office of Papal Charities, known by its Italian name as the Elemosyneria Apostolica, is the department of the Holy See charged with carrying out the Pope’s charitable assistance to the poor.
“While the vaccination campaign is proceeding with intensity in the richest countries, the health emergency still remains serious in many poorer areas of the world,” the communique from the OPC reads.
The “life-saving” medical devices were sent via diplomatic courier to the apostolic nunciatures in nine different countries still in need of such equipment. The nunciatures will ensure that the equipment is distributed to hospital centres in their respective countries
Two of the largest and hardest hit countries, India and Brazil (with some fifty million cases of Covid-19 between them) each received six ventilators. Colombia, which had already benefitted from a donation from the Pope in April, received five more ventilators; as did the Pope’s homeland of Argentina. Elsewhere in South America, the pope’s charitable office sent four ventilators to Chile and three to Bolivia.
South Africa received four ventilators; while Syria, in the Middle East, was the recipient of three; and Papua New Guinea in Oceania received two.
As noted in an article at Vatican News, despite the efforts of health care workers around the world, “the pandemic cannot be said to be under control.” It notes the rise in cases of the so-called Delta variant, originally coming from India, as well as the rise in cases in the United Kingdom – although the article notes that vaccination campaign there has succeeded in lowering the mortality rate.