The ICRC Meets with the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines
In the Philippines, the country with the largest population of Christian believers in Asia, religious leaders and faith-based organizations play a crucial role in responding to the humanitarian needs of conflict-affected populations. During this pandemic, they have also contributed significantly to raising awareness among the general public on health protocols to help mitigate the spread of the disease.
The International Committee of the Red Cross held a virtual meeting with the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Archbishop Romulo G. Valles, the highest Catholic authority in the country. Activities conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic were discussed, including the ICRC's potential role in the vaccination campaign in support of the Philippine Red Cross and ICRC engagement with Christian circles in the Philippines and Asia as a whole.
Archbishop Valles was appreciative of the ICRC's high-level collaboration with the Catholic Church, with President Maurer attending the recent Vatican-organized meeting on ''Fraternity, Multilateralism and Peace''. He also gave his endorsement for future cooperation with the CBCP commissions of interest to the ICRC, including the Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace and the Commission on Interreligious Dialogue.
Archbishop Valles stated that the Catholic church is willing to convert churches and schools into alternative vaccination sites to tackle COVID-19, and all CBCP members have agreed to be inoculated in public to help build public trust in the vaccination program. Moreover, under the Social Action Commission, they have mobilized resources to provide humanitarian assistance to low-income families most affected by the pandemic.