The Papal Foundation, whose mission is to serve the Holy Father and the Roman Catholic Church through faith, energy and financial resources, has announced $1.8 million in grants to support COVID-19 relief efforts in developing nations around the world. The majority of the money will support healthcare and basic needs for the poor.

Dioceses in 16 countries will receive funds to buy medicine, food, hygiene kits and healthcare equipment to support families, orphans, malnourished children, the elderly and chronically ill.

“Pope Francis has asked us to make grants to help the poorest of the poor in countries around the world, who are in particularly desperate circumstances due to the impact of the pandemic,” said Sean Cardinal O’Malley, chairman of the Papal Foundation Board of Trustees. “People’s basic needs of food, healthcare and hygiene are not being met because of COVID-19. We are blessed to be able to fulfill the Holy See’s request to assist in the midst of this crisis, to literally save lives, and share Christ’s love around the world.”

Grants are being made in: Argentina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cuba Ecuador, Guinea, Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Malawi, Mexico, South Africa, Syria, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“Throughout this worldwide pandemic, the virus has been even more devasting for the poor in countries around the globe,” said Eustace Mita, president of the Papal Foundation Board of Trustees. “We are extremely grateful to all of the Stewards of St. Peter whose gifts made these grants possible. Their willingness follow Christ’s teachings and support the Holy Father and his witness in the world are awe inspiring.”

For more information about the Papal Foundation, its grants and scholarships, visit