AMERICA - Latin American Bishops create "Bridges of Solidarity" to help Venezuelan migrants

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "Bridges of Solidarity - Integrated pastoral plan to help Venezuelan migrants in South America" is the name of the project presented yesterday, May 7, in the Vatican press room, which was prepared by eight Episcopal Conferences of South America with the help of the Migrant and Refugee Section of the Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. The plan aims to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants and refugees, accompanying them at every stage of their journey, from departure to arrival, and even in their possible return home.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in the last 2 years hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have fled to neighboring countries due to the political and economic crisis and in this period there have been many initiatives of the particular Churches in their defense and help (see Fides 8,10/02/2018; 1,6,24/03/2018; 11/04/2018 ...).
"It is a situation that pushes many Venezuelans to find ways to alleviate their suffering by going to another country - said Fr. Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Society of Jesus after the press conference - this is why this project of the 8 Episcopal Conferences is a very important gesture of solidarity ... At the moment the Venezuelans need help and this is a way to contribute, see the suffering of people and try to find ways to support them".
The Bishops' conferences of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru forged a coordinated action plan to offer needed services to Venezuelans, other vulnerable migrants and the local communities that host them, but above all, as pointed out by Fr. Sosa, "integration in the society they reach" because this is very important. The plan will be launched in coming days and will have an initial duration of two years, it will also address the most vulnerable people already present in each of the eight host countries and it is hoped that it will serve as a model for other countries experiencing similar migration problems. (LG) (Agenzia Fides, 08/05/2018)