Pope sends personal funds for Haiti, Bangladesh, Vietnam aid

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FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis holds weekly audience at the Vatican

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis has sent more than 350,000 euros ($411,000) in charity funds at his personal disposal to help with emergency relief in Haiti, Bangladesh and Vietnam, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

A statement said 200,000 euros was going to Haiti to help in the aftermath of the Aug. 14 earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people.

About $70,000 was sent to Bangldesh for continuing recovery assistance from Cyclone Yaas, which left tens of thousands of people homeless last May, and about 100,000 euros to Vietnam, where food supplies have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vatican said the sums were initial contributions and would be administered through its embassies in the countries.

Much of the charity money at the pope's personal disposal comes from Peter's Pence, a fund to which Catholics can contribute for general or specific causes.

The fund amounted to 50 million euros in 2020, according to a consolidated financial statement issued last month.

($1 = 0.8521 euros)

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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