ROME, NOVEMBER 30 – Italy is opening a new humanitarian corridor for refugees from Ethiopia with the support of Caritas Italia, the Migrantes Foundation and the community of Sant’Egidio following an agreement with the Italian government.
The first group of 25 refugees, among them women and children, landed today at Fiumicino Airport and will be eventually hosted by Caritas in Ventimiglia and Ragusa and by the Community of Sant’Egidio in Rome. The arrivals mark the beginning of the implementation of a Memorandum of understanding signed by the Italian conference of Bishops (CEI) with representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Interiors. The agreement, which is financed with CEI funds, will bring to Italy 500 refugees from Ethiopia in two years. The project will focus on helping refugees find a home, providing Italian lessons and providing job opportunities for better integration into Italian society.
The humanitarian corridors are one answer to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean. Refugees and migrants are at high risk of falling into the hands of criminal networks as they try to cross the sea. These networks not only pack them onto over-crowded and unsafe boats, demanding large amounts of money for the trip to Europe, but they also sometimes continue to exploit migrants once they are in Europe.
The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) says that Ethiopia is home to over 740,000 refugees, the country holding the largest number of refugees in Africa. The refugees chosen for the humanitarian corridor are among the particularly vulnerable due to health or other circumstances. They are chosen with the support of UNHCR. (@OnuItalia)