Chinese Catholic Jinde Charities has sent rescue supplies to Italy, the most severely Covid-19 affected country in Europe.
The Hebei-based Jinde Charities urged Christians in China and Italy to "Ci aiutiamo vicendevolmente per combattere l'epidemia" (help each other to fight the epidemic).
Founded in 1997, the organization reported it had launched an overseas aid project against the virus on March 11, receiving donations and support from Christians at home and overseas and from local Catholic churches.
"The entire world has been mired in this pandemic, and the human race is bound together in a single destiny by this disaster. I think nobody can stay aloof or wait on the sidelines, so we must take care of each other and support one another," said Dr. Liu Guopeng, who was once a visiting religious scholar to Italy. He donated 1000 yuan to the charity.
The next day a letter from the Vatican pharmacy and the Holy See's subordinate hospitals arrived, informing of urgent material needs in detail.
On March 16, 26 boxes of supplies donated by Chinese Christians and also by non-Christians were transported to Italy, including 100,000 surgical masks, gloves and protective clothing.
Two days later, TherAsia Charity, on behalf of the local hospital, received two boxes of protective suits donated by the Vienna Chinese Church and the Jinde. They had arrived on March 19.
Jinde said that 6,000 goggles had departed from an airport in Xiamen on March 22, and that another 200,000 masks, 24,000 surgical gloves, and 5,000 suits would be prepared.
Professor Agostino Giovagnoli from Italy told Jinde that the Italian government would assist in conveying supplies through special flights, after an urgent consultation with the country's foreign affairs officials.
In 1988, Italy financially aided China in founding several medical emergency treatment centers. When SARS broke out in 2003, the European country gave support. In May 2008, when the 7.8 - magnitude earthquake struck Wenchuan, Sichuan, Italian experts arrived at the epicenter to offer rescue along with supplies. A mobile hospital was quickly set up.
In China's difficult fight against the virus, Pope Francis encouraged mask donations to the country and ordered the Vatican pharmacy to purchase 100,000 Euros worth of masks.
Recently the Pope made two personal contributions of 100,000 Euros to the pandemic fight assistance fund for the elderly in China through Caritas International and Caritas Germany.
"Jinde Charities will implement the program in strict accordance with the Pope's intention to donate, especially for the Pope's anti-epidemic donation, and will help the most needy individuals and families who are suffering from the new pneumonia disease through the assistance of churches and relevant departments in the affected areas of Hubei and other places," the charity said on its official website.
As of 4:30 pm on March 23, Jinde had received donations of more than 279,000 yuan, which will be used to purchase medical material to support South Korea, Italy, and Vatican.
The charity issued this appeal: "We hope people from all walks of life in China will provide humanitarian assistance for the pandemic fight in Italy and the Vatican. Let's help each other to fight against the pandemic. Love is boundless. We sincerely invite you into us to pass on love."
- Translated by Karen Luo