Pope Francis donates $500,000 to migrants at US border

Pope Francis donated $500,000 to Mexico-based projects to help migrant communities as media attention has faded, the Vatican said Saturday.

The funds will be distributed between 27 projects associated with 16 Mexican dioceses and congregations, all of which asked for help to continue providing food, lodging, and basic necessities to those fleeing their home countries through Mexico.

“In recent months, thousands of migrants have arrived in Mexico, having travelled more than 4,000 kilometers 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 U.S. border remains closed to them,” said a press release from Peter’s Pence, the organization handling the funds.

Peter’s Pence’s collections are funds earmarked “to provide the Holy Father with the financial means to respond to those who are suffering as a result of war, oppression, natural disaster, and disease,” according to its website.

The money is specifically meant to aid the 75,000 migrants who arrived in Mexico in 2018 as part of six caravans, according to a press release from Peter’s Pence.

“All these people were stranded, unable to enter the United States, without a home or livelihood. The Catholic Church hosts thousands of them in hotels within the dioceses or religious congregations, providing basic necessities, from housing to clothing,” Peter’s Pence said.

(MORE: US border officials predict the number of migrants attempting to cross the southern border could reach as high as 1 million this year)

The organization said the donations were currently needed because “media coverage of this emergency has been decreasing, and as a result, aid to migrants by the government and private individuals has also decreased.”

Source: ABC News’ Phoebe Natanson contributed to this report.

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