MADRID, 2 August (EUROPA PRESS) –
Aid to the Church in Need has sent more than €5 million to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began, in what he explained to support the Catholic Church in its “titanic effort” to stand by its people.
The Pontifical Foundation has indicated that, in addition to the first emergency aid, another 2.5 million euros have been made available in the last three months from May to July with the approval of 34 new projects.
“The worst consequences of war will not be immediate: the psychological, spiritual, physical and humanitarian consequences will be felt later. Only God can heal the deepest wounds, but we are trying to meet the most urgent needs and support the local church so that he can remain in office,” said CAN International Executive President Thomas Heine-Geldern.
Heine-Geldern pointed out that “thanks to the help of Aid to Church in Need donors, priests and nuns are able to alleviate the lack of food, basic hygiene items and medicines for the many internally displaced people; in addition to psychological care and spiritual support for those traumatized by the loss of family and home”.
The Foundation’s project manager for Ukraine, Magda Kaczmarekha, has also indicated that they are “in daily contact with many people from across the country” to “identify the projects that the local church considers to be priorities and we are month for month flexible in our help”.
“The pain is immense,” Kaczmarek said after his recent trip to Ukraine. “It was a very emotional experience. We met refugees who just cried. It was important to just hug her. But we also saw refugees who were completely speechless. I remember a young man in his 30s who I was told hadn’t said a word since the war began,” he explained.
In his opinion, “the great concern and fear of everyone is the arrival of winter”. “But now they are afraid that the food and fuel shortages will get worse by the end of August,” he said.
From the foundation they have highlighted that in the five months that have passed since the beginning of the war, 3.2 million euros in emergency and life aid have been provided, of which 1.3 million to the constituencies of the church in Ukraine and 800,000 to they went to help the priests. In addition, 650,000 euros were made available for 14 projects to enable dioceses and religious orders to welcome and care for internally displaced people in parishes, monasteries and seminaries.
Likewise, 450,000 euros were invested in 17 projects in the subsistence aid, in particular to support religious women and religious as well as to support the elderly and sick religious.
Aid to the Church in Need also highlighted the use of 1.1 million euros for a total of 23 projects for the construction, rehabilitation and adaptation of buildings; o 600,000 euros for the purchase of vehicles; 100,000 for example for 21 small pastoral projects.
“Churches have literally opened their doors to everyone and are taking in thousands of internally displaced people in all dioceses, but it is also a financial challenge. The biggest burden for church institutions in Ukraine right now is running costs like electricity, water, heating,” Kaczmarek pointed out before adding that he will continue to do so.