It was no surprise, therefore, that Caritas Internationalis made an appeal to the international community.
Aloysius John listed what Caritas Internationalis asks the international community: to keep focusing on the Global South; to lift the sanctions on Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iran so that humanitarian aid can reach people most in need without having to overcome international bureaucratic hurdles; to cancel the debt of developing nations; to support the plea for a global ceasefire launched by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The Caritas Federation is working in the field through countless initiatives to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the initiatives, Caritas has launched a virtual platform to exchange specific scientific data on the pandemic. The platform is for internal use only, but the information shared on it is intended for broad sharing and consultation. In short: they mean for their information to be shared with anyone who has a legitimate need or use for it.
The Caritas Internationalis general secretary stressed that "our main concern today is to prepare the poorer countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, to confront such massive emergency due to a sudden outbreak of the pandemic. We are taking this challenge very seriously and working closely with our Member organizations by providing technical and financial support."
Aloysius John added that "the people on the move, the migrants, the asylum seekers and the displaced are also in highly unsafe conditions and are already affected by the loss of means of livelihood, precarious living conditions and also lack of basic needs. Caritas has a special concern for those living in the refugee and IDP camps, who are displaced."
Among the many activities on the ground, Aloysius John mentioned the Kindness Stations in the Philipinnes, established during the COVID-19 threat to share information on the virus and leave no one behind; care for the elderly, on which Caritas Armenia is focusing; distribution of supplies and food in difficult areas like the West Bank and Gaza in Israel, where Caritas Jerusalem is operating; aid delivered in poorest countries like Venezuela, where the local Caritas is organizing a series of 'kitchen soups' to feed the poorest ones.