(ANS – Yangon) – Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Salesian, archbishop of Yangon and President of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), retraced the months marked by the pandemic in Myanmar, underlining the constant commitment of the Church. In a report addressed to friends and benefactors, the Cardinal briefly explained what the main interventions of the Church have been in these difficult times. Below, the text of Cardinal Bo. Covid-19 has launched a challenge to humanity. As Pope Francis constantly reminds us we are “all called to row together“. We are grateful for the global solidarity that emerges among the people of the world. Covid-19 was merciful to us until the second week of August, with only 400 cases and 10 deaths. Since August 16, however, Myanmar has been hit by a violent wave of the virus. The country is desperately trying to contain its spread, but to date, the virus has had an exponential growth with 15,000 infected people and about 400 dead. The country’s health system is overwhelmed. During these months of challenges, the Myanmar church has balanced security with solidarity. In the first phase, from March to August, the Church responded with the following programs for the benefit of thousands of people: – Preventive awareness in vulnerable areas; – Delivery of food to the most exposed people and support for the groups most at risk; – The offer of our Major Seminary as a center for quarantine; – Advocacy for non-discrimination in service provision and appeals for a ceasefire in conflict areas. The second phase hit us from August 16, forcing us into a rigid lockdown, which impacted the survival of thousands of people. The Church fortified its response, with the following plans: – Ensure food security for the most affected by the pandemic, starting with 1,000 families for three months; – Motivate the Christian community to support the poor by providing food to at least 50 families for each parish; – Give continuous preventive support; – Offer the ecclesiastical structures for quarantine; – Collaborate with the government to reach vulnerable communities; – Raise national and global emergency funds; – Continue advocacy for peace and an integrated approach between the various stakeholders; – Establish an online pastoral presence and create a virtual counseling center. We continue to be grateful to our friends around the world for the accompaniment with prayers and all kinds of support. Accompanying with prayer,

Charles Bo Archbishop of Yangon