On Friday, the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development announced Pope Francis had made a donation to the World Food Programme amid rising hunger caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The donation to the World Food Programme by Pope Francis totaled 25,000 Euros, about 28,000 dollars.

Announcing the donation, the Dicastery said in a statement it was “an expression of his closeness to those affected by the pandemic and to those who are engaged in essential services for the poor and weakest and most vulnerable people in our society.”

The statement added that the donation was a “symbolic paternal gesture of encouragement” to the United Nation’s World Food Programme, which has called for nearly five billion dollars in funding as they work to feed 270 million people this year – more than usual because of the pandemic.

“The donation expresses paternal encouragement towards the organization’s humanitarian work and toward other countries willing to adhere to forms of support for integral development and public health in this time of crisis, and to combat social instability, food insecurity, rising unemployment, and the collapse of the economic systems of the most vulnerable nations.”

The WFP said in a statement Thursday, one day before Pope Francis’ donation:

“The impact of COVID-19 on people is demanding us to step up and scale up our efforts to ensure more food-insecure people receive assistance. The front line in the battle against the coronavirus is shifting from the rich world to the poor world. Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos.”

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