PARIS, MARCH 13 – Italy and France are the first EU Countries to facilitate humanitarian corridors to fight people trafficking in the Mediterranean. Following up the Italian project that allowed so far the safe arrival of 700 refugees from Iraq and Syria to Italy, an agreement will be signed on March 14 in Paris in the presence of President Francois Hollande.
Part of the agreement are five Ngos: Community of St. Egidio, Protestant Federation of France, the French Episcopal Conference, Entraide Protestante and Secours Catholique, and two government representatives: the Minister of the Interiors, Bruno Le Roux, and hi colleague of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Marc Ayrault.
Andrea Riccardi, the founder of the Community of Saint Egidio will take part in the ceremony at the Élysée Palace. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mario Giro stated that “this is the great news that we were all waiting for”.
Humanitarian Corridors is a pilot program and joint-ecumenical initiative of the Sant’Egidio Community, the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy, the Italian government and the Waldensian and Methodist churches. The project provides aid and safe passage to those fleeing war and violence.
The refugees have come from situations of desperation in countries such as Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Among them are sick children, disabled persons, elderly and widows of war with children.
In France Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve spoke out in favor of humanitarian corridors and mentioned the Federation of Protestant Churches in France (FPF), the Community of Sant’Egidio, the French Caritas and the French Episcopal Conference as sponsoring institutions during the traditional new year greetings to FPF, held in Paris on January 18th. (@OnuItalia)