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Worldwide review: the most recent works of the Order
The global Activity Report of the Order 2019 (pdf)

Latest activities of the British Association (pdf)

The Order's Italian Emergency Corps celebrates 50 years

In the field, from catastrophes to the current health crisis

Earthquake in central Italy
                             Earthquake in central Italy - Order of Malta teams on the ground in Amatrice

Half a century of commitment, 3,000 volunteers nationwide, over 18,300 days of activity, the Italian Emergency Corps (CISOM) doctors, nurses, rescuers, psychologists and logisticians have been there for all the major natural disasters and for numerous minor ones, offering medical and social assistance to the most vulnerable.

Corps’ President, Gerardo Solaro del Borgo spoke of their inspiration: ‘Charity and efficiency are the words that inspire us…belonging to a system in which helping others is a priority.’

Photo Giorgio Minguzzi: Earthquake, Amatrice, central Italy, 2016, where 100 CISOM volunteers - rescuers, logicians, psychologists, health workers - worked for days and nights to save lives.  

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Brompton Project 'Help the homeless' in the news

London's Evening Standard covers the story

The Help the Homeless project, run by members of the Order, Companions of the Order, and volunteers - in all, a team of 48 - have been hard at work since early April, packing and distributing packs of clothes and necessities for distribution to the homeless in central London - all currently housed by Westminster City Council in hostels and hotels. London's Evening Standard newspaper picked up the story on Friday. 
Organising goods for the homeless
                   Organising goods for the homeless

To read the full text, click on the link: 

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Every 24 June, the nativity of the patron saint of the Order of Malta, St John Baptist, is celebrated by its members around the world

This year is different

Because of the pandemic there are no church services in Britain to mark the day, traditionally celebrated with ceremonies at the Brompton Oratory, and with decorations awarded to members and volunteers in recognition for their work to help those in need.
Packing parcels for the homeless
Packing parcels for the homeless
However, the Order’s work to support the poor and the sick continues, including packing parcels of clothing and necessities for the homeless, and special activities to reach out to the lonely, housebound or in institutions, with cards, telephone calls, gifts of flowers and chocolates so that they know they are not forgotten. 

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Lieutenant ad interim meets members, doctors and volunteers of the Order of Malta

‘Thank you for your commitment to the fight against Covid 19'

Lieutenant ad interim: Thank you
  Lieutenant ad interim: Thank you
In the garden of the Magistral Villa in Rome, the Lieutenant ad interim, Fra’ Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas, met a delegation of Order of Malta members, doctors, paramedics and volunteers.

Fra’ Ruy Villas Boas acknowledged the untiring work of all present and noted ‘…all that has been achieved in these last difficult months by the three Grand Priories and their delegations, the Italian Association, the Military Corps, the Italian Relief Corps, the San Giovanni hospital, the clinic in Via delle Carrozze and the First Aid Post in St. Peter’s Square.’
Lieutenant ad interim Fra Ruy Villas BoasLieutenant ad interim Fra Ruy Villas Boas and Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager

And he commended ‘…the dedication and love with which thousands of members and volunteers in our Grand Priories, National Associations, delegations and Order of Malta relief corps worldwide have brought aid and assistance to the sick, to their families, to the isolated elderly, to the poor and to the marginalised.' 

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Celebrating the volunteers at the Orders of St John Care Trust Homes

It’s National Volunteers Week, 1 – 7 June: thank you!

Volunteer week at Orders of St John Care Trust Homes: thank you!
                                   Volunteer Don Wagstaff  with Head of Volunteering Catherine Semmence
Matthew Wilby is a Companion of the Order and an Orders of St John Care Trust Homes (OSJCT) volunteer befriender. He describes his role: 'My role is a Befriender. I’m a friend to the residents and a familiar face. I strike up a conversation, listen and talk about anything and everything. I have yet to meet a resident who hasn’t got a fascinating life story to tell. I’m company for those who are lonely or just need a helping hand with activities. Sometimes this is in a group or one-to-one. Over time you learn what residents like, such as playing dominoes or simply going for a walk around the garden, or just a good chat over a cup of tea.' 
Catherine Semmence, Head of Volunteering for the Trust, adds 'Matthew’s been an incredible support to our Larkrise Home.'

Making the difference
At the Larkrise Care Centre, Banbury, Home Manager Lyndsey Sard says to those who might like to consider volunteering: 'Please do! It is time well spent. You will make lots of new friends, both residents and staff. There will inevitably be times of sadness, but for the most part it is a real joy, and you will come away with a sense of achievement knowing that you have made such a difference in somebody’s day.

‘Matt has been a fantastic asset to Larkrise, he comes in with a big smile and he plans to make everyone happy. He volunteers with us on a Saturday alongside our activity coordinators and is always looking at what residents are doing and what they want to do more of. Matt isn’t just a volunteer, but like all our volunteers, he’s a member of our team. Without volunteers we would not be able to offer our residents all of the amazing activities or events that we put on.'

Helping boost morale
In response to the pandemic, Catherine says: 'The Companions of the Order have been incredibly generous and supportive throughout this difficult time, stepping forward to donate their time to support our Homes, or being on standby for when they may be needed. On top of that, they’ve sent gifts, cards and best wishes to the Homes’ staff to help boost morale and let them know that they’re in their thoughts and prayers. We can’t thank them enough - it’s meant so much to the Homes teams and our residents. We’re delighted that some of the Companions volunteering in our Homes are going to stay on as volunteers on a more permanent basis.' 

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The bells of St Peter’s pealed out over Rome

As Basilica reopens, Order of Malta first-aid clinic provides health checks to visitors

Order of Malta first aiders, Rome
                                                          Order of Malta first aiders, St Peter's Square

St Peter’s Square was almost deserted on Monday at 7.30 when its bells pealed out for the first Mass since the COVID relaxation in Italy, marking the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Pope St John Paul II.

Around the Basilica, all precautions were in place, with the Order of Malta’s trained volunteer first-aiders carrying out temperature checks at the entrance. The service is active when the basilica is open - 7.30 am - 6.30 pm, with the volunteers alternating in two shifts each day.

The First-Aid Post suspended normal activity on 9th March, when lockdown started. Normal service of health assistance is expected to be from 3rd June, when access to St Peter’s Square is permitted, and  a limited number of visitors will be given entry at any one time.

The Order of Malta’s First-Aid Post, in which 90 volunteers alternate – 40 doctors and nurses and 50 rescuers – was first established for the 1950 Holy Year under the papacy of Pius XII. Since then it has assisted pilgrims 365 days a year in St. Peter’s Square, in close cooperation with the Vatican Directorate of Health and Hygiene.  

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Support for the homeless across London

Order of Malta volunteers in teams deliver packs to hostels and hotels

The Brompton Project team lines up
The Brompton Project team lines up
As the weeks roll on, the need to support the homeless is still high on the agenda. The Order’s Brompton Project is operating in shifts, with volunteers working 3 days a week, collecting and boxing up an average of 2000 items. The packs include clothing and basic essentials. They are then loaded up by five volunteer drivers who drive to four hotels (for 200 clients) and seven hostels (for 480 clients) each Friday and deliver them. 

All activities are undertaken observing government guidelines for social distancing, plus wearing masks and gloves.

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Cardinal Becciu celebrates funeral of Grand Master Dalla Torre

‘For the professed and the members he set a perfect example’

Funeral of Grand Master Dalla Torre
                                          Funeral of Grand Master Dalla Torre. Cardinal Becciu officiates

In the church of Santa Maria in Aventino, Rome, the 80th Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto was laid to rest this morning, in a ceremony celebrated by Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu', the Pope’s Special Delegate to the Order. 

Following the measures in place for COVID-19, a very restricted number of mourners – family and members of the Order’s governing body, the Sovereign Council - were able to attend.

Cardinal Becciu’ recalled the life and works of Fra’Giacomo: ‘He was humble, good, generous in all aspects of his life and he set a perfect example for the professed of the Order and the members.' 

For the Cardinal's homily in full: click here 

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Lourdes at dusk

Every May the same, except for this one

Lourdes - the Order processes at dusk
Lourdes - the Order of Malta processes at dusk

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Requiem Mass for Grand Master Giacomo Dalla Torre

To be celebrated by Cardinal Becciu, Tuesday 5 May

Church of Santa Maria dell Aventino - detail
                                                      Church of Santa Maria in Aventino - detail

The funeral of H.M.E.H. the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, who died on April 29, will take place on Tuesday May 5 at 11.00 in the Church of Santa Maria in Aventino, in the Magistral Villa in Rome. 

In compliance with the sanitary measures established by the Italian State and the Italian Bishops’ Conference, a solemn Requiem Mass will be celebrated on a date to be announced.  

To pay final respects to the 80th Grand Master, the funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11.00 am (Central European Time) (10.00 am BST) on Tuesday May 5 by Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, Special Delegate of the Holy Father to the Sovereign Order of Malta, in the presence of the Grand Master’s sisters, brothers, and members of the Sovereign Council. 

To allow all members, volunteers and friends of the Order of Malta to participate virtually in the ceremony, the funeral will be live streamed from the Order of Malta website: www.orderofmalta.int  

In the afternoon of the same day, Monsignor Jean Laffitte, Prelate of the Order of Malta, will celebrate a religious ceremony attended by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Sovereign Order of Malta, Antoine Zanga, ambassador of Cameroon, representing the 110 countries with which the Order has diplomatic relations. Pietro Sebastiani, ambassador of Italy to the Sovereign Order of Malta, will be present, representing the Italian Republic, along with some diplomats and other family members.  

Thereafter, Monsignor Guido Mazzotta, Head Chaplain of the Grand Priory of Rome, will officiate a celebration for the Grand Master’s closest collaborators. 

Lastly, Monsignor Luis Manuel Cuña Ramos, Chaplain of the Order of Malta, will celebrate a religious ceremony for the doctors and health personnel who had been caring for the Grand Master.  

Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto will be laid to rest in the crypt of the church of Santa Maria in Aventino, alongside his predecessors, Fra’ Angelo de Mojana di Cologna and Fra’ Andrew Bertie.

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'He promoted the Order's work in areas most affected..including the spreading of COVID-19'

President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella

The Grand Magistry - flags at half mast
                                                                 The Grand Magistry - flags at half mast

The President of the Republic of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, sends his condolences to the Order of Malta::


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Pope Francis condolences on the death of Fra'Giacomo Dalla Torre

'A spirit of service for the good of the Church as well as his dedication to those who suffer most'

Grand Master Dalla Torre in audience with Pope Francis
                                       Grand Master Dalla Torre in audience with Pope Francis last June

The full text of the telegramme:


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Grand Master Fra'Giacomo Dalla Torre dies in Rome

A devoted and much loved leader

Frà Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, 80th Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, died in Rome in the early hours of 29 April. He was a much loved leader, spiritual adviser and deeply committed religious member of the Order of Malta.

Fra Giacomo Dalla Torre prays at Lourdes
Fra Giacomo Dalla Torre prays at Lourdes

Born on 9 December 1944 in Rome, he graduated in Humanities from the University of La Sapienza, Rome, specialising in Christian Archeology and the History of Art. He held academic posts at the Pontifical Urbaniana Institute, teaching classical Greek and was also Chief Librarian and Archivist for the Institute’s important collections. Over many years, he published a range of distinguished academic essays and articles on aspects of medieval art history.

 Fra’Giacomo Dalla Torre became a member of the Sovereign Order in 1985, as a Knight of Honour and Devotion and took his Solemn Vows in 1993. From 1994 - 1999 he was the Order’s Grand Prior of Lombardy and Venice and from 1999 to 2004, a member of the Order’s supreme government, its Sovereign Council. At the Chapter General of 2004 he was elected Grand Commander of the Order and on the death of the 78th Grand Master, Fra’ Andrew Bertie, he became the Lieutenant ad interim. From 2008 to 2017 Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre held the post of Grand Prior of Rome. On the resignation of the 79th Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, he was elected Lieutenant of the Grand Master by the Chapter General which took place on 29 April 2017 and at the Chapter General of 29 April 2018, was elected 80th Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order.

A man of great spirituality and warmth, Fra’ Giacomo reached out personally to those in need, attending the weekly soup kitchens in Rome at the Termini and Tiburtina railway stations, serving the homeless at the annual Christmas lunch for the homeless, taking part in the Order’s international pilgrimage each year – which he did for over forty years – and in the national pilgrimages to Loreto and Assisi. A great joy was his attendance at the Order’s International Summer Camps for Young Disabled every year – both for him personally and for those whom he encountered, young volunteers and guests alike, whom he greeted with affection and sympathy. His warmth, kindness, holiness and involvement in care for those who need care are summed up in his letter to the participants of the 2019 Summer Camp in Germany, when he wrote: ‘My dear, impressive young helpers and guests! …May I say that I rejoice with you in this special experience, which is a combination of spirituality, of love, of enthusiasm and fun. It is a privilege to be with you and to see how much everyone cares for everyone else… The Order of Malta can be proud of you all…’

As Grand Master, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre carried out numerous official and state journeys. Only last January he made a state visit to Benin and in July last to Cameroon. More recently, he travelled to Germany, Slovenia and Bulgaria for meetings with their respective authorities. During these journeys he always made a point of visiting the Order’s social-health facilities to greet personally the staff and the patients.

 Throughout his life, Fra’ Giacomo, a very cultured man, was a great lover of music, especially Italian opera, and his musical knowledge was prodigious, as was his appreciation of the arts and of history.

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Care for those suffering was never needed more

The Order of Malta’s members and volunteers are combatting the consequences of COVID-19 all over the continent

As the pandemic continues to take lives, help is organised over many areas of activity to meet needs and combat the spread of the deadly virus. In all its projects, the Order has ensured that strict hygiene measures are in place.

The European perspective
From Russia to Malta, support covers a wide range of activities: bringing food parcels and medicine to the housebound, providing daily meals for the homeless, assisting in constructing and preparing temporary hospitals, carrying out ‘drive in’ tests, attending to forgotten groups such as refugees and illegals.  
Italy - food parcels for the housebound
Italy - food parcels for the housebound

The Order has first aid units in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland and Italy, all providing emergency services. In a number of countries, including Britain, iPads have been donated to the residents in care homes, in others (Hungary, Germany, Romania), actions include online schooling for children at home. Soup kitchens across Europe have been closed, with daily meals being cooked, packed, and provided to the needy.

The national perspective
In London, kits of clothing and basic supplies are packed up every week and distributed to the homeless in hotels, hostels, and in Trafalgar Square.

In the Order’s 70 care homes across four counties, as well as donating boxes of chocolates and sending cards of good wishes, iPads have been donated so that the residents can stay in touch with loved ones. Special food boxes for NHS doctors and nurses have been distributed, in recognition of their invaluable work. 
Britain - the joy of iPad contact!
Britain - the joy of iPad contact!

A hotline has been put in place so that the regulars at the kitchens and hospices can ask for help. or simply stay in contact to combat loneliness.

In Scotland, food parcels are being made up and given out to the homeless and the housebound, plus transport provided for patients to hospital in central Scotland. 

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Order of Malta worldwide response to COVID-19

On the front line for society’s most vulnerable

Helping the homeless in a Paris street
Helping the homeless in a Paris street
Around the world, the Order of Malta is responding to the needs of so many hit by the corona virus and today launches a global campaign for awareness and support.  

In Italy, the Order’s Emergency Relief Corps has been on the front line for weeks, helping test for the disease, constructing a hospital, visiting the elderly housebound, distributing food parcels to the homeless. These actions are repeated in so many countries, for example, in Germany, emergency beds in the Order’s 11 hospitals are available, with temporary hospitals being set up and emergency transport services established, in France the Order’s first aid teams are working together with the Red Cross, Seine Civil Protection and the state relief aid organisation as well as distributing food parcels twice daily to Paris homeless, in Britain, where projects to support those most in need are underway with kits of clothing and food, in donating iPads to the residents in the Order’s 70 care homes so that family contact can be maintained, digitally, in Spain where care for the stricken means warm meals provided for the homeless in Madrid, a hotel is converted into a hospital in Barcelona, in Lebanon where the Order operates 30 different projects, a strict protocol for prevention and awareness of the disease is in place, in Hong Kong, volunteers have delivered masks – unaffordable to the most vulnerable - to local communities.

Everywhere, the responses are the same: the Order has cared for the sick for almost a thousand years and is doing so still. Everywhere the reactions are the same: unprecedented, bewildering, unpredictable, everywhere the support from members, volunteers, staff, is the same: inspired by the Christian tradition, for love of our neighbour, we are here. Please click the link below. 

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Easter is a time of hope and closeness

Grand Master's message goes round the world

The Grand Master today                  The Grand Master at Villa Malta, Rome,  today

Dear Confreres, Consœurs, employees, volunteers and supporters of the Order of Malta throughout the world, 
Never before have I felt so strongly the desire and the need to make you feel my closeness: it is true that we are far away. But we are not alone. We are united in our mission of faith in the great family of the Order of Malta. We live in an unprecedented situation, which worries and frightens us, which isolates us, but at the same time unites us in our efforts to face the great challenge represented by this pandemic. 

Holy Week and Easter Day represent hope and resurrection. After sharing Christ’s suffering, let us ensure that His resurrection gives us the energy to continue to fight this battle and to look to the future with renewed hope.

“We have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything,” said the Pontiff a few days ago in a deserted St. Peter’s Square. “We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick.” The exhortation addressed that day by Pope Francis to “new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity” stimulates us in our mission, which for 900 years has been the essence of the Order of Malta: Tuitio fidei et Obsequium pauperum.

For this reason, I would like to renew my message of gratitude and admiration to our Priories, Associations, Relief Corps and numerous volunteers who have been contributing – for several weeks now – to support the people who suffer most with a thousand initiatives of solidarity. Every little help, every smile, every prayer is like the gesture of Veronica who, when seeing Jesus’ passion whilst carrying the cross, cleans his face with a cloth. Similarly, our doctors and nurses working in hospitals, our volunteers who assist the elderly or the sick forced into quarantine at home, who help the homeless on the streets, who deliver medicine or food, bear witness to the Order of Malta’s Christian message with their tireless commitment.

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Monsignor Jean Laffitte, Prelate of the Order of Malta, for the Easter video message and for the historic act of consecration of the Order to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I invite everyone to watch the video message on the website www.orderofmalta.int.  

I am very sorry that after the pilgrimage to Lourdes we were forced to postpone the international pilgrimage to the Holy Land scheduled for November. I assure you that the appointment with the places that saw the birth of our Order is only postponed.

Even more than in the past, I would like to invite you to pray for our Lords the Sick and for all those who are committed to alleviating their suffering and difficulties. I wish you all a Holy Easter and I assure you that I remember you constantly in my prayers.
Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre 

The Easter reflection from the Prelate of the Order, Mons.Jean Laffitte was recorded in the Grand Magistry's chapel:

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Germany: Order's Emergency Corps' specialised units

Volunteers are trained up for crisis care

  Infection control in Malteser Relief Service ambulance
                       Infection control in a Malteser Relief Service ambulance. Photo Haefner/Malteser

The Order of Malta’s facilities in Germany include hospitals, schools, academies for training paramedics, first aid units and a range of social care projects. All the social care activities are now closed. As a result, current measures are telephone contact, shopping services for the housebound, meals on wheels.

Marcus Bensmann, Head of civil protection and disaster relief for Emergency Corps of the German Association of the Order of Malta, has five years of extensive experience in the civil protection sector. He describes the focus of Corps’ work: Support has always been centred around closeness and care for those in need. He explains that the Emergency Corps of the German Association of the Order of Malta has over 10,000 volunteers , plus 4,000 drivers (professionals in transport services). The cars cannot be deployed as those services have been shut down and so the drivers are being moved into ambulance services.

The Emergency Corps is also training its paramedics for crisis care, with the CISM method – the qualification promotes internationally recognised security practices and provides standards in the specific field of crisis intervention, and is providing 30 teams (each of 3-5 helpers) to cover the psychology sector. The medical Emergency Corps’ in general is divided into two close-knit sections: civil protection run by 10,000 volunteers; and a unit of 6,500 professionals in the ambulance sector. The main challenge now is to provide enough personal protection kits, as they are single use only, so sourcing for stocks is underway.

Mr Bensmann concludes: ‘The world will build up stocks of ventilators and masks. And for the future, closeness will return.

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Romania: Helping the vulnerable through the crisis

Order of Malta Relief Organisation continues its support programmes

After school programme, Romania
                                                       Fomer times: an after school programme, Romania

The Romanian relief organisation of the Order of Malta* has implemented a range of measures in order to fight the effects of the corona virus pandemic

All the programmes involving meeting up with the beneficiaries – particularly, the isolated and elderly lonely and underprivileged children - have been put on hold. The Romanian Government has already introduced a state of emergency, with a strict night time curfew starting last Monday and since Wednesday 25 March the country is in full lockdown, with the army deployed to help enforce it.

The organisation’s secretary general, Ferenc Tischler, describes his team’s current activities:
Care centres
Three of our care centres are still managing to operate, following strict hygiene measures: a residential centre in Dorobanti and one in Timisoara for the elderly, and a night emergency centre for the homeless in Sfantu Gheorghe. With the new restrictions and because these people are in the highest risk category (most are over 65, with pre-existing conditions and low immunity), we have now opened the night emergency centre, and a day centre with activities for them. Up to now they have received only one cold meal in the evening (when they arrived at the centre), but starting on Monday, we will offer them three meals a day, including a warm meal at lunch (with the help of a school kitchen).
Romania - care for the elderly
Romania - care for the elderly
Ongoing food distribution in five cities
We are delivering food packages/bundles to old people. The parcels contain bread and milk, and once a week we bring a package with less perishable food, eg. fruits, cans, flour, oil, etc. These food distributions takeplace in Aiud, Arad, Cluj-Napoca, Satu Mare and Sf. Gheorghe, in cooperation with the local municipalities.

Programmes to support the disadvantaged
In Bucharest: we have had to suspend our education programmes for underprivileged children because they don’t have computers at home. For the elderly, we are making contact by phone, offering counselling and comfort and, if needed in the future, we will bring them food and medicine.
In Satu Mare: we run a programme with 80 children. Our team has set up a home ‘after-school’ via the internet with 60 of them. For the 20 not in this programme, the team try to source old notebooks or PCs, so they can participate too.
In Aiud: almost all the 27 children in the after-school programme are also organised for our ‘home-school/home-after-school’ programme via the internet.
In Sfantu Gheorghe: we have many children in our regular programmes. We now very briefly visit them once or twice per week to see how they are. But more important, because these children have had parents working abroad, many of whom have now returned home, we go to them and tell them what they have to do, what rules and regulations they have to comply with now, where to officially register after their return.

Hot lines
Last, but not least, we have hotlines installed in Cluj-Napoca, Satu Mare and Sfantu Gheorghe , in cooperation with the local municipalities and other relief organisations, where we respond to the callers, give recommendations, indications, take their requests and try to solve them. *The Order of Malta Relief Organisation in Romania (SAMR) works in 26 locations with 16 branches in Transylvania and Bucharest. With their 1000 volunteers and 100 staff, they run over 100 social projects for 4000 beneficiaries, with a particular focus on disadvantaged children and elderly poor. 

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Keeping vital contacts

Corona virus measures: Actions of the Order of Malta in Britain

The Order in Britain has had to curtail its activities to support the lonely, the elderly, the homeless, following government guidelines and respecting the health and well being of those they aid, of their their staff and their volunteers. The soup kitchens (3 in London, 1 in Colchester) are closed; the care Homes (70) have restricted visits; the London tea parties (bi-monthly) are suspended. The Order is putting in place programmes in support of those in need.

The Order of Malta is providing special funds to care for the elderly people in their care and for the staff who look after them.
In England:
The Orders of St John Care Trust runs 70 Homes in 4 counties, where 4000 staff care for 3500 residents. The Homes are regularly visited by around 600 volunteers. Now, following the Government’s measures, the residents cannot leave their Homes and visiting is very restricted. To keep contacts going, the Order of Malta is donating towards the provision of iPads for use by residents, so that they can communicate visually with their families and doctors, whilst they cannot leave the Homes.
In Scotland:
The Order of Malta Dial-a-Journey Trust in central Scotland provides transport for the elderly and housebound, taking them to medical appointments, and to shopping outlets and community activities. So that this valuable social and community service does not diminish as a direct result of the current impediments on mobility due to Coronavirus, the Order is providing an additional donation to the work of the Trust.

Soup kitchens: closed until the Government’s position has changed and it is safe to resume them. Tea parties for the elderly: cannot be scheduled until the Government’s position has changed and it is safe to resume them.

Other activities: last week, 230 plants were delivered to care homes in London; letters containing a pen, key fob and card were delivered to the 70 guests who attend the Order’s regular tea parties for the elderly; Easter cards will be sent to as many of the elderly guests as possible, in London and in the 70 Orders of St John Care Trust Homes.

 In addition, the Companions of the Order of Malta (the Order’s auxiliary organisation) have set up a ‘Call Companions’ programme to assist wherever possible the elderly, the pilgrims the Order members and volunteers accompany to Lourdes every year, those in the care Homes and anyone - including Companions and members of the Order - who requires assistance during this period.  

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Corona virus: Order actions around the world

Work is ongoing and continuous to support the vulnerable

Help for the homeless
                                                                   Help for the homeless

Around the world, the Order is supporting the vulnerable and those in greatest need.


Lombardy: the Order of Malta’s Italian Relieve Corps (CISOM) helped set up a new hospital in record time in the Milan Fair pavilions (200 intensive care beds); Order of Malta donating 260 ventilators to it;
Liguria: OM volunteers assisting on Ligurian region's hospital ship, port of Genoa (400 patients)> Daily activities country wide for social support - homeless, the elderly in need, the unemployed, immigrants and those living in extreme poverty - are still up and running
Order of Malta France emergency teams have been working with the prefectures and hospitals since the beginning of the crisis; are assisting the sick and transporting them to hospitals, supporting call centres giving advice on health issues and delivering supplies to hospitals.
Order of Malta has initiated specific training for its medical staff and has opened crisis management centres. Eg In Baden Württember, two drive-through stations test people sent by their doctor without having to leave their cars. There are also numerous mobile clinics for consultations, as well as pre-hospital triage services. Order of Malta’s German ambulance service has been stepped up.
The Order of Malta’s Relief Corps in Hungary (MMSZ) has activated a service to deliver food and basic necessities to the guests of its 30 institutes for the elderly or sick, now in complete isolation. Has activated online educational services for students – mostly young people from disadvantaged families – in the twelve institutes the Order runs in the country. Freezing temperatures expected in the next days, so MMSZ will temporarily re-open its overnight shelters with 100 beds for the homeless. All measures in total respect of medical assistance and healthcare provisions.
 Order of Malta’s ambulance corps has set up an emergency hotline for those in isolation needing food and/or medicines and offers support to those in need.
Order of Malta is attempting to maintain its activities for the homeless and continues to distribute food and hot drinks.
 LEBANON Order medical staff have been conducting awareness and educational campaigns in all outlying regions where they have health centres and mobile clinics. All nurses in the Order’s facilities have received Covid-19 training offered by the public Health Ministry.
In Bethlehem, the Order of Malta’s Holy Family Hospital – the only facility in the region with a neonatal intensive care unit – remains open to take care of the most vulnerable mothers and infants in the region. Infection-control measures have been intensified in line with the Palestinian Ministry of Health protocols and one of the operating theatres is now an isolation ward for infected patients. The lockdown of the region has caused difficulty in moving premature babies or those needing surgery.
VIrus containment kits have been prepared to help contain the spread, in cooperation with local partners. The Order's international relief agency, Malteser International, has been in the region for years: “With over 60 years of experience in managing crises, including epidemics, we are tackling the coronavirus emergency with the utmost seriousness and professionalism,” Malteser International’s Secretary General Ingo Radtke.
Malteser International, has intensified its hygiene information campaigns and established public hand-washing facilities. SOUTH KOREA OM's delegation in South Korea have prepared and distributed thousands of basic kits – including masks and alcohol detergents – to disadvantaged families in the cities of Seoul and Suwon, for around 2000 people.
Order members are preparing food parcels also with hygiene articles such as soap and antibacterial gel; also offering assistance to the elderly in isolation and to the homeless.
East coast, Hartford, Connecticut: Malta House of Care mobile medical clinic, in cooperation with the St Francis Hospital, has set up a drive-through for coronavirus testing near a busy circular driveway, right in front of the hospital. Patients sent by their doctor to this facility receive a result within 24 hours. California: plans to distribute thousands of hand gel kits.
Malteser International has intensified its health and hygiene education activities for migrants and refugees aand host communities in La Guajira department. Health personnel have also received extensive training on protective measures for COVID-19. Mobile medical missions to remote and border areas scaled up, and Malteser International has distributed hygiene articles to people in need.
In the poorest country in the American continent, Malteser International is distributing flyers on Covid-19 containing hygiene indications and is offering assistance to the elderly.
PERU Malteser International’s project for the elderly now scaled up, with house calls replacing group activities, providing information on preventive measures to avoid infection with COVID-19. Hygiene materials are also handed out. 

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Special measures at the Order's care home in Madrid

Staff follow strict guidelines for coronavirus

Medical staff of the San Juan Bautista residential home, Madrid
Medical staff of the San Juan Bautista residential home, Madrid

Medical staff at the 84-bed San Juan Bautista nursing home  at Aldea del Fresno, on the outskirts of Madrid, follow all precaution to protect the elderly residents.
The Order of Malta in Spain runs a range of projects in the country's main cities, including care for the elderly, special equine and horticultural therapy for the disabled, summer camps for young people, and soup kitchens in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville (which up until this week have fed many hundreds of homeless and poor every day).

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Care for our older residents

Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) announce special COVID-19 measures

The Order of Malta has many activities around the country which include caring for the vulnerable, and especially the elderly.

Our Care Homes
The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) runs 70 care homes in four counties, caring for 3500 residents, as well as providing some assisted living accommodation. The most stringent measures are in place to protect the residents at this time. They are constantly reviewed as matters change. We are currently restricting visitors, as our priority is the safety and wellbeing of residents, their loved ones, colleagues and visitors in our services.

From Friday 20th March the OJSCT enquiry line 0800 988 8133 is manned 7 days a week 8.30am – 6pm Mon to Fri and 8.30am – 5pm at weekends. For more information: https://www.osjct.co.uk/news/latest-update-visitors

How you can help
To learn more about the Homes and how volunteers bring welcome support, click on the video below. To volunteer - https://www.osjct.co.uk/volunteer-us 
 Please note that there are specially defined volunteer groups in place at the moment. 

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Newsletter highlights the work of women around the Order

On Mothering Sunday this special edition showcases their activities to support those in need

Across the world, the Order of Malta runs projects to help the vulnerable. Many of them are inspired and organised by the women who work in and around the organisation.. 
To read about a selection of their works, national and international, click on Hospitaller Spring 2020

hospitaller Spring 2020
Hospitaller Spring 2020

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The language of flowers

Companions of the Order bring blooms to elderly residents

Plant project - Order Companions in London
Plant project - Order Companions in London

Yesterday morning a group of Companions of the Order* organised to take over 230 individual pot plants at some care homes across London. Each one came with a card attached. It held an email address and telephone number in case the elderly person needs assistance. auxiliary organisation of the Order of Malta – volunteers who deliver the works of the Order in Britain.  

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As the virus spreads across the globe, Order of Malta teams are in action

In Europe, Middle East, Asia, support activities are set up

Germany-Order ambulance service on emergency duty
                                           Germany-Order ambulance service on emergency duty 

As the virus spreads across the globe, Order of Malta teams are in action
Belgium: the Order of Malta is forced to close the La Fontaine reception centres in Brussels, Liège and Ghent until 3 April. In these centres homeless are given assistance and the possibility to wash themselves and their clothes. Services for the disabled have also been suspended until 3 April.
Germany: Malteser Deutschland’s medical teams are operating on several fronts. In Baden Württember two “drive-in” stations to test people without having to leave their cars is operating from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for residents who have received a code from their family doctor after an initial telephone diagnosis. Other Order of Malta activities: setting up and managing mobile clinics, pre-hospital triage services, clinical analysis clinics and expert advice for crisis management. 
Italy: - Milan, one of the most affected areas in Europe, the Order of Malta’s young volunteers are bringing shopping and medicines to the elderly or disabled at home, assisted by the Order’s local Delegation.
           - Perugia, central Italy, Order of Malta volunteers are cooperating with local chemists to bring medicines to the elderly and sick at home, following all health and hygiene standards; volunteers are provided with masks and gloves and the medicines are delivered maintaining a safe distance. The service is provided for those over 65 living alone, with chronic and invalidating diseases, and those over 75 living alone and disadvantaged. The service will operate for the duration of the emergency
            - Rome, the Order of Malta Outpatients’ Clinic in the Magistral Palace remains open (with reduced hours), but the First-Aid Post in the Vatican run by the Order is closed, following the closure of St. Peter’s Square decreed by the Vatican City authorities. 
Spain: the San Juan de Acre soup kitchen in Seville, managed by the Order of Malta’s Andalusian delegation, has closed its dining room where daily meals were distributed to 240 people. The food will now be handed out in bags through a window.
Lebanon, since the start of the health emergency, the medical staff of the Lebanese Association have conducted awareness and education campaigns among the communities in all the outlying regions where the Order of Malta’s medical centres and mobile medical units operate. In addition, all the nurses of the Order’s centres in Lebanon have undergone special training on Covid-19, offered by the Ministry of Public Health. 
Palestine - Bethlehem, the virus arrived on 5 March, with the consequent total shutdown of the city and surrounding region. The Holy Family Hospital, the Order of Malta’s neonatal facility for vulnerable mothers and babies in the area, remains open with a reduced staff. Some employees with children are at home as chools are closed; some are in quarantine because of recent journeys. One of the operating theatres has been turned into an isolation ward for infected patients. The infection-control measures have been intensified in line with the Palestinian Ministry of Health protocols.
South Korea: the Order of Malta’s members and volunteers in South Korea have put together an emergency-relief programme for the disadvantaged, whose lives have been further endangered by the Covid-19 pandemic. 25 volunteers filled boxes with food packages and personal hygiene products, totalling over 5 tonnes. 600 cases have been sent to the Daegu diocese for undernourished children, foreign workers and refugees in the most affected region. In this area the free soup kitchens have been suspended. 

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Grand Master: our medical staff and volunteers at the forefront

A letter to the Order's organisations around the world

Fra Giacomo Dalla Torre prays at Lourdes
                                                                 Fra Giacomo Dalla Torre prays at Lourdes

In his Lenten message, Grand Master Dalla Torre to the members worldwide:

Dear confreres and consoeurs, dear professionals, volunteers and supporters of the Order of Malta around the world,

In this unprecedented moment that is uniting over 150 nations worldwide in facing the same grave challenges, my most profound gratitude goes to the Order of Malta’s Associations, volunteers and relief corps who have been contributing in supporting the national health systems in several of the countries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our medical staff and volunteers are providing assistance to the elderly who are forced to quarantine at home, by regularly delivering food and medicines, and health teams are deployed to administer tests to the population and to manage some mobile medical units which are equipped to handle the virus, strictly following the healthcare guidelines. Their indefatigable dedication is witness to the Christian message and faith which underlies all the charitable activities of the Order of Malta.
I also wish to express my deepest appreciation to all those medical professionals who – since the onset of the virus – have been working round the clock to assist people affected by this disease.
Every day we read in the news distressing reports on the condition of the people who’ve been hospitalised, many in intensive care, some incubated. We must pray for the sick who, by experiencing isolation, suffer this loneliness the most. Our thoughts also go out to their families: being denied from attending or even saying goodbye to your loved ones is a pain nobody should endure, and I wish to express my sympathy to all those people living this dreadful condition. To them and to all the doctors, nurses and health workers go my prayers and my full and wholehearted gratitude.
With deep regret, it was decided to cancel the 62nd Order of Malta’s International Pilgrimage to Lourdes, one of the most significant moments in the life of the members and volunteers of the Order of Malta. This decision was a very painful one.
Given the rapidly worsening of the situation in France, for the first time in over 160 years the Marian sanctuary of our Lady of Lourdes has been closed to the public. It is my hope that many members and volunteers will be able to reunite for the pilgrimage to the Holy Land programmed next November, on the occasion of the 900th anniversary of the death of Blessed Gerard, our founder, trusting that the world will have by then turned this dramatic page in history.
With its over 900 years of Hospitaller tradition in assisting the poor and the sick, the Order of Malta remains close to those in need and those who are suffering in this terrible moment and will continue reaching out to whoever is in need. I would like to recall Pope Francis’ words just a few days ago: “United to Christ, we are never alone”, and I renew the appeal of the Pontiff to ask everyone “to pray for the elderly who are suffering, in a particular way from interior solitude”.
I wish you all a blessed Lent, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto 

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London soup kitchens are currently closed

Amid concerns for all the Order takes this decision

Respecting government guidelines and with concerns for the health and safety of our guests and our helpers we have with regret had to close our soup kitchens in London: Monday's Lincoln's Inn Fields, Wednesday's Breakfast club and the Thursday's soup kitchen. 

Our team leaders and regional coordinators will be in contact with all our helpers and as soon as we can, we let you know plans going forward. 

Our prayers are especially for those suffering due to the pandemic. Pope Francis has reminded us of the importance of small gestures of kindness to each other and exhorted the Virgin Mary to watch over the world, that she ‘….shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.' 

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Coronavirus: the Order's Lourdes international pilgrimage cancelled

It has taken place every May for 62 years

The Grotto, Lourdes Sanctuary
                                                                     The Grotto, Lourdes Sanctuary

In consideration of the worldwide coronavirus alert, and concern for both pilgrims and helpers, the Sovereign Order of Malta has cancelled its annual Lourdes pilgrimage – which has taken place every May for 62 years - and calls for all to pray for those affected. 

Stay close
The Grand Hospitaller, Dominique de La Rochefoucauld: ‘This decision touches us all and above all touches our Lords the Sick. If you cannot visit them, call them; if you cannot call them, write to them. What they need in this moment of solitude is our closeness.’ 
52nd annual Order of Malta international Lourdes pilgrimage
52nd annual Order of Malta international Lourdes pilgrimage

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Coronavirus in Italy: Order medical teams on the ground

Countrywide measures underway

The Order's Italian Rescue Corps (CISOM) has medical teams working in pre-hospital triage in areas countrywide. 

In Umbria, the medical teams are supporting the pre-hospital triage in Amelia and Narni and a CISOM tent has been set up at the hospital in Amelia; in Tuscany, a CISOM tent has been set up at the Volterra hospital. In Calabria, a CISOM tent has been set up at the hospital in Soverato , and the teams are cooperating with the regional “Emergenza Coronavirus” hotline; in Liguria, a medical team is checking temperatures in the port of Genoa.

The Order's First Aid Post in St Peter's Square is currently closed, as is the square itself.

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Order volunteers in action around Italy for the Covid19 healthcare emergency

The Order’s First Aid post in St Peter’s Square is open

Checking a small traveller
                                                                Checking a small traveller

To tackle the Covid-19 healthcare emergency, the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps (CISOM) has been in action for some weeks. Its medical teams of doctors, nurses and volunteers have been present in 14 Italian airports since 5 February - over 1000-man days in just under a month. The teams participate in health-screening operations for passengers arriving on international flights, as decreed by the Italian Ministry of Health. With a daily average of 38 volunteers, 290 people alternate in emergency actions and in the airports of Milano Malpensa, Milano Linate, Bologna, Firenze, Pisa, Ciampino, Bari, Brindisi, Catania, Venezia, Treviso, Verona, Torino and Pescara.
Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps make checks
Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps make checks

Update 12 March: The Order’s First Aid post in St Peter’s Square is now closed, following the closure of St. Peter’s Square by the Vatican City State authorities. 

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Polish Association of the Order celebrates 100 years

A presence which goes back centuries

Since its foundation in 1920 – and with a history which traces the Order’s presence in Poland since the 12th century – members have been very active in their mission to help the poor and the sick. 
Young volunteers at Polish youth camp
Young volunteers at Polish youth camp
Works today
The Polish Association is celebrating its 100 years with a focus on current activities - a hospital in Barczewo, outpatient clinic in Poznan, help centre for children in Krakow, 70 camps per year for the disabled. The Association has 1000 volunteers, regularly cares for 1600 people every year, plus 6000 occasionally.

Hospital of the Polish underground
Hospital of the Polish underground
The twentieth century
Its recent twentieth century history: after the outbreak of World War II in 1939 an ad hoc Military Hospital managed by the Association was established in Warsaw to treat victims of the Nazi bombings. The Hospital cared for around 15,000 injured and sick people, with nearly 500 volunteer staff working in very difficult conditions in the facility, which was called the “Hospital of the Polish underground”. The Hospital doctors also opened a clinic for the Jewish population who were deprived of medical care due to the restrictive Nazi regulations. 

After the war, Poland came under the occupation of the Soviet Union and the medical activity of the Association was banned. The Polish Association remained active in exile – mainly in Rome and London – and its activities were resumed in Warsaw on October 14, 1992. 

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President of Hungary in visit to the Grand Magistry, Rome

'Your work has great impact in our country'

Grand Chancellor with the Hungarian Presidential couple
                                                      Grand Chancellor with the Hungarian Presidential couple

The Hungarian President, Janos Ader, met with the Order's Grand Chancellor, Albrecht Boeselager in Rome yesterday. 
The meeting took place on the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations in 1990 - an opportunity to confirm the excellent relations that over the years have created numerous Order of Malta and Hungarian Republic joint projects in the social-healthcare and humanitarian sectors for disadvantaged communities and individuals. 

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Budapest last October to develop programmes for the protection of ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East, Africa and other crisis regions - as an additional memorandum to the agreement signed in 2010 for humanitarian aid initiatives.

President Janos Áder recalled the important role played  by the Order of Malta’s Hungarian Association – established in 1928 – and its relief corps (MMSz), active since 1989. “Your relief corps is one of the best in eastern Europe,” he said.  MMSZ is one of the major health and welfare agencies in the country - for which the President’s wife. Anita Herczegh, is one of their Goodwill Ambassadors.
Hungarian flag flies beside that of the Sovereign Order
Hungarian flag flies beside that of the Sovereign Order

The service manages 350 units, with a staff of 5000 and 15,000 volunteers and has 142 groups operating nationwide. Its main areas of action are assistance to the disabled and the elderly, the distribution of meals to the homeless, projects for students from disadvantaged families, support for the Roma community and all the vulnerable minorities, including those million Hungarians who live outside their country

Link to the video of the event:  https://youtu.be/wDOSqbuaOUo 

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Accompanying the homeless

Breakfast club celebrates third anniversary

The breakfast club set up
                               The breakfast club sets up

Every Wednesday the Companions of the Order of Malta run their breakfast club for the homeless, hosted at the Church of our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, 24 Golden Square, in central London. Today it celebrates its third anniversary.

Set up starts 6am, and doors open to the homeless guests between 6.15 and 7.45am. The parish centre is made up of a kitchen, hall and showers. Around 25 guests are served a hot breakfast and up to 16 guests are able to take a shower. The homeless guests also receive new underwear, toiletries, and T-shirts. 

The project was launched in January 2017 and is also keen for helpers who can come for all or some of the time.

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Greater efforts against human trafficking are needed

Grand Master's annual address to the diplomatic corps

Grand Master addresses the diplomatic corps
                                                                 Grand Master addresses the diplomatic corps

The Grand Master, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, received today the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Sovereign Order of Malta for the traditional audience of the beginning of the new year. The audience took place at the Magistral Villa in Rome. 

In his address, which detailed the Order’s work around the world over the last year for those in great need, the Grand Master called for greater action in the fight against human trafficking, for more awareness of the contribution that faith based organisations and institutions make on the field of humanitarian assistance, and for the need to protect human rights and dignity.  

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Order of Malta Australia launches bushfire appeal

Thousands lose homes, animals, stock

Bushfires threaten lives and homes
                                                                   Bushfires threaten lives and homes

The Order of Malta’s Association in Australia expresses its deepest concern for the violent bushfires which have been raging for months through parts of the country. The unprecedented fires have already claimed over 28 lives. Millions of animals have perished. Millions of acres have burned so far, in an area larger than Belgium. 

Direct assistance for fire victims
The Hospitaller of the Association, John Murphy, who has launched a fundraising appeal, describes current action: “The Order of Malta in Australia is responding to the immediate needs of the affected communities in various areas on the east and south coasts. Together with some local parishes, on the south coast of New South Wales we have managed to offer direct assistance to many people who have lost their homes, and in Victoria we are distributing food vouchers.”

More catastrophic weather on the way
Further catastrophic weather conditions are forecast from Friday, local authorities have warned. 3,000 army reservists, along with aircraft and naval ships, are being made available to help with evacuation from afflicted areas.

The Order of Malta Australia will use money from its Natural Disaster Fund to provide emergency relief to those directly impacted. The Association is exploring with its regional Hospitaller network how best to provide assistance to the thousands who have lost homes or are stranded.

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