Vatican sends aid to help migrants in Mexico

US$500,000 will be split among 27 projects in 16 Mexican dioceses and religious congregations

Central American migrants wait to get humanitarian visas granted by the Mexican National Migration Institute (INM) inside a detention center in Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas, southern Mexico, on April 27, 2019. - Central American migrants at a detention center in southern Mexico protested against their captivity on Friday, a day after an escape involving around 1,300 mostly Cuban inmates. Since October, tens thousands of Central Americans and Cubans have traversed Mexico in so-called "caravans" in the hope of obtaining sanctuary in the United States. (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
Central American migrants wait to get humanitarian visas granted by the Mexican National Migration Institute inside a detention center in Chiapas on Saturday, April 27. Photo: Getty Images

Pope Francis donated $500,000 to aid Central American migrants in Mexico, the Vatican has announced.

The money will be used for housing, food and necessities for the migrants. The funds will be split among 27 projects in 16 Mexican dioceses and religious congregations, according to a Vatican statement reported on CNN Saturday.

“Men and women, often with young children, flee poverty and violence, hoping for a better future in the U.S. However, the U.S. border remains closed to them,” a spokesman for the Peter’s Pence Collection, the Pope’s charity arm, said in a statement.

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The near 75,000 migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala that arrived in Mexico in caravans have been “stranded, unable to enter the US, without a home or livelihood,” it said.

The Catholic Church said it hosts thousands of these migrants in hotels within dioceses or congregations.

“Media coverage of this emergency has been decreasing and as a result, aid to migrants by the government and private individuals has also decreased,” the Vatican said.

Thirteen projects have already been approved for aid, including in Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana and Nogales, on the U.S. border. The remaining 14 projects are still undergoing the approval process, according to the release.

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