(Vatican Radio) The Holy See has given €500,000 to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by the Ebola crisis in West Africa, especially Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
The Fund is being distributed by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, the President of the Council, said the Fund has many objectives, including improving existing health care structures, offering psychological help for families affected by the Ebola crisis, and to aid local dioceses and parishes to develop sacramental practices which minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.
Listen to the interview by Vatican Radio with Cardinal Peter Turkson:
The Council is currently seeking additional donors to add to the fund, and has doubled the amount of the original papal donation, but Cardinal Turkson said he hopes to have 2 or 3 million euros before distributing funds to Catholic organizations battling the crisis.
“ The applications [for grants] have started coming already, but want to reach a decent level before we start treating applications,” Cardinal Turkson told Vatican Radio.
The Council has limited initial grants to €30,000, and is encouraging larger projects to get matching funds before applying.