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Order of Malta worldwide response to COVID-19

On the front line for society’s most vulnerable

London, 16 April 20

Helping the homeless in a Paris streetAround 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.

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.