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Collection for Ukraine: "Pope does not make policies, he sees the suffering of the people and acts"

Pope Francis is one of the few international leaders who continues to remember that a war has been going on in Ukraine since 2014. That is why in April 2016 he asked for generosity to help the victims of one of the most forgotten conflicts in the world.

(Apr. 2016)
“I am thinking, in particular, here in Europe, of the ordeal of those who suffer the consequences of the violence in Ukraine: of those who continue to live in lands that are turned upside-down by hostilities that have caused thousands of deaths.”

In European parishes over 12 million dollars were collected, which were added to 5.6 million contributed by the pope. With this sum, emergency aid has been provided to the population displaced by the war. 

Undersecretary, Integral Human Development
“All these people have had to move on to places with better conditions. With the war the supply of gas and hot water has been stopped. So we did a project with Caritas and other organizations distributing coal stoves and also about a thousand kilos of fuel, which allowed them to get through the winter.”

Msgr. Segundo Tejado traveled to Ukraine as part of a delegation led by Cardinal Peter Turkson. His mission was to see first hand the results of the pope's help in a place where it reaches negative -4 degrees Fahrenheit in winter. 

They have visited the closest accessible area to the conflict, since only the Red Cross can enter the two most damaged provinces. In this area, the Vatican has worked in collaboration with this organization to help the suffering population.

Undersecretary, Integral Human Development
“The pope doesn't make policies, he sees people's suffering. They are two different things. That cry of suffering has reached the pope and he is responding. The pope has responded to that cry that came to him from there and has responded with the generosity with which the pope always does it. There are many forgotten conflicts that are not in the newspapers or on television or we forget them but the Church does not forget.”

The war has resulted in more than 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). This humanitarian aid prompted by Pope Francis has alleviated the suffering of some 900,000 people in need of the most basic necessities, from clothing, to food, to medicine.

“This is the medicine room because it is cool. Each person had his or her package, name, surname and the name of the doctor who had prescribed the medicine and thus each person received it from the pharmacy.”

The delegation also visited this hospital which has benefited from new medical equipment provided by the initiative. It also has a center for single mothers where the pope's envoys were received in this way. 

A piece of that affection has also reached Pope Francis in the form of a drawing. The little ones in the center wanted to thank the pope for not forgetting the Ukrainian tragedy.