Pope Francis has donated $500,000 to assist migrants stranded at the United States-Mexico border and throughout Mexico, the Vatican announced Saturday.
The news comes as media attention surrounding the border crisis wanes, likely due to the 2020 presidential election kicking into high gear.
The Vatican said funds will be distributed between 27 projects among 16 Mexican dioceses and congregations, all of which requested assistance to continue providing migrants with basis necessities like food, water, and shelter.
Peter’s Pence, which issued the funds, said additional funds are necessary because media attention surrounding the crisis has decreased, resulting in a decrease of humanitarian aid.
The group said in a statement:
In recent months, thousands of migrants have arrived in Mexico, having travelled more than 4,000 kilometres on foot and with makeshift vehicles from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Men and women, often with young children, flee poverty and violence, hoping for a better future in the United States. However, the US border remains closed to them.
In 2018, six migrant caravans entered Mexico, for a total of 75,000 people; the arrival of other groups was announced. All these people were stranded, unable to enter the United States, without a home or livelihood. The Catholic Church hosts thousands of them in the hotels within dioceses or religious congregations, providing basic necessities, from housing to clothing.
Peter’s Pence said “regulated and transparent use of the resources” will be accounted for before they are assigned to local communities.
Peter’s Pence is a large collection of funds at the Pope’s disposal “to provide emergency assistance to those in need because of natural disaster, war, oppression, and disease,” according to the group’s website.