COVID-19: South Korean Catholics Donate Relief Materials to India and Myanmar


Catholics in South Korea have contributed a specific sum to help India and Myanmar presently passing through the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Seoul, Bishop Benedictus Son Hee-song, led the fundraising program.

According to The Catholic Times of Korea, the funds apportioned are 50 million won ($43,000) for Myanmar and 80 million won (almost US$70,000) for India. These funds will be delivered to Caritas Myanmar and Caritas India through Caritas Korea.

The fund is expected to cover 50,000 people for medical support, treatment, and awareness-raising projects. Areas where treatment will be received include Maharashtra, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh states in India.

India is presently facing a critical situation as the Delta variant, which started in India, takes its toll. Hence, the assistance from the South Korean Church comes in handy. So far, COVID-19 has caused the death of more than 520 priests and nuns in India from April to mid-June.

Furthermore, people are passing through a humanitarian disaster in Myanmar after a clash occurred in ethnic areas between civil resistance groups and the military. This was a result of the coup five months ago. Consequently, the daily cases of deaths are on the increase.
The funds from South Korea will give essential medicines and equipments to nursing assistants, medical teams, and volunteers from St. Raphael Clinic and Karuna Clinic in Loikaw, the capital of Kayah state. Kayah is a Catholic dominated area in eastern Myanmar.

Caritas (Karuna) Myanmar, which acted a major role in providing humanitarian aid to a large number of displaced persons in Christian-dominated areas such as Kachin, Kayah, and Chin states, will be delivering the funds.

Last month, Seoul Archdiocese gathered $1 million in donations when the Vatican appealed for a global vaccine-sharing program, especially for poor nations. While expressing his solidarity with the people of Myanmar, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul pledged an emergency fund of $50,000 to them in March.

This act by the Korean Church comes in the stage where the nation is equally fighting a fourth wave of the pandemic fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant. As at July 7, new 1,200 cases of the virus were recorded. This was the highest since it reported 1,250 cases in December last year. In total, there have been 162,753 reported cases and 2,033 deaths caused by the virus in South Korea.

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