Religious groups from around the world offered prayers and aid this week for the millions of people affected by the typhoon which ravaged the central and eastern Philippines last week. The storm was among the deadliest ever to hit that country, killing thousands and displacing more than half a million. U.S. armed forces and religious groups such as World Vision were among the first wave of responders. Damaged roads and airports have made it difficult for aid groups to deliver supplies, and food shortages are widespread. Meanwhile, Pope Francis led prayers for the Philippines and urged people to give to the relief effort. The Vatican also announced that Pope Francis himself would send a donation of $150,000.