A press release from the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development announced a $230,000 donation from Pope Francis to Haiti.

“The funds will be used to assist the earthquake victims and is intended to be an immediate expression of the feeling of spiritual closeness and paternal encouragement towards the people and territories affected, demonstrated by the Holy Father. Accompanied by prayer, the humanitarian aid … will be used in support of the beloved Haitian population.”

The Vatican provided an account of the situation in Haiti as well as the statement announcing the donation:

“The earthquake, which struck on the morning of 14 August 14 with a magnitude 7.2 on the Richter scale, and was also felt in Jamaica, had its epicenter about 150 km west of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, and devastated entire regions of the south and southwest. A still provisional tally, which has been increasing day-by-day, now numbers 2,207 dead, 344 missing and more than 12,000 injured. The damage is incalculable. Entire inland areas have been razed to the ground and homes have come down with avalanches of land already made fragile by aggressive deforestation that has marked the island for years. And what the earthquake did not destroy, the tropical storm that hit the archipelago in recent days did.”

Pope Francis previously expressed his pastoral closeness to Haiti during his Sunday Angelus on August 15th.

“I wish to express my closeness to those dear people who have been hard hit by the earthquake. As I raise my prayers to the Lord for the victims, I address a word of encouragement to the survivors, desiring that the international community will take a shared interest in them. May the solidarity of all alleviate the consequences of the tragedy.”

In line with Pope Francis’ worldwide call to end suffering in Haiti, the Italian bishops’ conference announced their own donation of $1.17 million in aid.

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