Caritas South Sudan Expresses Commitment to Contribute to Vatican COVID-19 Fund

Logo Caritas South Sudan.

The leadership of Caritas South Sudan, the development and humanitarian arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in the country, has expressed the commitment to contributing towards the COVID-19 emergency fund, which Pope Francis created last month.

The Holy Father created the emergency fund for those affected by coronavirus in mission countries on April 6, earmarking US$750,000.00 for the fund, Catholic News Agency reported. The prefect of the Vatican-based Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said that in establishing the fund, Pope Francis was seeking to mobilize “the Church’s entire vast network to face the challenges ahead”.

Cardinal Tagle who is the President of Caritas Internationalis went on to ask the Caritas confederation of 165 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations operating across the globe to answer to the call of Pope Francis to Caritas to help the most vulnerable people adversely affected by the pandemic.

“This is an opportune time for the Caritas family and confederation to manifest the compassion, solidarity, and love that Christ has for every person, especially the poor,” Cardinal Tagle wrote to Caritas Presidents and Secretaries General around the world on May 18 about contributing to the emergency fund, with the donations channeled through the administration office of the Vatican-based Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS).

The leadership of Caritas South Sudan, a potential beneficiary of the same emergency fund, says that despite the “financial constraints” in the world’s youngest nation, the Juba-based Church entity is prepared to partake in the charity call for support.


“We will do something based on our capacity,” Caritas South Sudan Executive Director, Gabriel Yai told ACI Africa Wednesday, May 27, adding that he had “consulted with the President of Caritas South Sudan, Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe and we are in a position now to come up with a decision on how to respond to this letter from the President of Caritas Internationalis.”

Mr. Yai further said that just like other confederation members, Caritas South Sudan is set to contribute in support of the affected members globally, adding that financial hurdles stood in the way of the commitment to contribute.

“We are still not contributing because of the financial constraint and financial challenges we are facing,” the Caritas Director said and added, “We are still working on our response to the general Secretariat in Rome.”

He said the contribution “is a kind of solidarity fund where members who are able to contribute, can contribute, so that the members of the confederation that are mostly affected by the coronavirus can access financial help from the fund.”

According to the South Sudanese Caritas official, Caritas South Sudan has previously been submitting its annual contribution to the confederation, his last recollection being 2017.

More in Africa

“Three years ago, we did contribute to that fund (Caritas Africa Solidarity fund). We contributed 1,000 Euros during that time (2017),” he recalled.

Highlighting the possible triggers of financial challenges in his organization that serves the seven Catholic dioceses in the country, the Executive Director said external donors have also been affected by the pandemic.

“We rely on funding from external donors, and all these donors are now facing their own problems in their respective countries,” Mr. Yai said and added, “That is why they find it a problem supporting Caritas South Sudan.”

“We are now remaining with only two main donors, Caritas Spain and Caritas Italiana in addition to some other Caritas members,” he said, recommending that the organization looks into the possibility of mobilizing its own resources locally instead of waiting on donor funding.

Founded in 2011 following the independent of the country, Caritas South Sudan is a member of Caritas Internationalis and Caritas Africa.


As an official entity of the Catholic Bishops of South Sudan, the organization has sought to spearhead programs in the dioceses, including capacity building through training in disaster preparedness, advocacy for peace and national reconciliation, HIV/AIDS awareness programs, among other programs that exemplify South Sudanese Church’s “solidarity with the poor and commitment to serve the human person in love and dignity,” the leadership of the Juba-based entity has posted.