By Vatican News
Trócaire, the foreign aid agency of the Irish Catholic Church is currently providing assistance to 18 countries where the Coronavirus is present. It is also providing aid in seven main areas and the funds raised during Lent will be used to purchase hygiene kits, testing and prevention information campaigns.
"Many communities in which Trócaire works," says CEO Caoimhe de Barra, "do not even have access to drinking water and in the slums it is impossible to maintain a safe distance because of overcrowding.”
The agency continues its commitment, but is asking for gestures of solidarity different from the past because of Covid -19.
It is inviting the faithful in Ireland who wish to make a donation, to do so by telephone or online, as it will not be possible to recover contributions from schools and parishes, which are usually collected after Easter Sunday.
The agency notes that there are several countries where enormous difficulties are being encountered in containing the virus, especially because of non-existent health systems. These include Malawi, which has one intensive care bed for every million people, Sierra Leone, which has none at all, and South Sudan, which has only 2 ventilators for 12 million people.
It also points out that experience gained during previous epidemics has been effective from the very beginning of the spread of the Coronavirus.
In Sierra Leone, as well as in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the aid agency of the Irish bishops, was providing relief during the Ebola epidemic, guaranteeing supplies of water and medicines.