A new memorandum of understanding has been signed in Italy for the arrival through humanitarian corridors of 1,200 Afghans in need of international protection.
A total of 1,200 Afghans in need of international protection will arrive in Italy through humanitarian corridors under a memorandum of understanding signed Thursday last week (4 November).
The event in Rome was attended by Minister of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian Bishops’ Conference (IEC), the Community of Sant’Egidio, the Federation of Churches Evangelicals (Fcei), the Valdensian Table, social promotion, the Arci organization, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the National Institute for Health , migration and poverty (NIHMP).
The aim of the agreement is to open legal channels for Afghan citizens from Pakistan, Iran and other countries having provided first asylum or transit countries, over a period of two years, with the possibility of extending the period to 36 months.
The Protestant churches will welcome 200 people, the Catholic charity Caritas 300 others, S. Egidio 200, Arci 100, while the Ministry of the Interior will welcome 400 people and pay for the flights.
“We welcome migrants while other countries do not” – Lamorgese
“This summer, military planes took some 5,000 Afghans to Italy,” Lamorgese said.
“Today (Thursday) we signed a memorandum of understanding for the arrival of 1,200 more and I hope that with everyone’s commitment we will reach 2,000. At a recent international meeting, I noticed that not all European countries have the propensity to welcome, to respect human rights. Europe is not always present, not everyone agreed with the hospitality, they said “let’s give them resources but in their country of origin”.
The Afghan people, she recalled, “suffered and found themselves in great difficulty. Italy is a host country, we have increased the number of places in the SAI network (reception and integration system) because it guarantees a different integration path, with knowledge of languages and respect for the rules and the government supported the interior ministry which proposed the initiative.
Humanitarian corridors a model for Europe
Speaking during the signing of the protocol, the president of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Marco Impagliazzo, declared that “Italy is a country with a humanitarian vocation”, stressing that the protocol “is rooted in the emotions aroused in the Italians in August by the dramatic images from Kabul We wanted to give an answer to those who remained in Afghanistan and to those who were able to reach neighboring countries.
“Humanitarian corridors should not be relegated to the space of emergency social assistance, charity but should be good practice for Europe when it decides to face something that is not a temporary emergency but a watershed moment, “said Fcei chairman Daniele Garrone.
“The humanitarian corridors represent a safe route for those who are forced to flee their land and, at the same time, are a demonstration that governmental and non-governmental institutions, representing civil society, religions can cooperate to find concrete solutions to the tragedy For this reason, we hope that humanitarian corridors will become a structural tool for managing migration policies “, declared Mons Stefano Russo, Secretary General of the CEI.