EUROPE/ITALY - Humanitarian corridors from Afghanistan, a way to save lives

Wednesday, 15 December 2021 human rights   caritas   humanitarian aid  

Trento (Agenzia Fides) - Christian organizations committed in Italy to humanitarian aid, development and reception projects put their resources, their skills and the "passion for humanity" that characterize them at the service of activating humanitarian corridors, an experience that will allow Afghan refugees to be welcomed in Italy. And they do so, as reported to Fides, asking the institutions to give valid support, and to unblock the procedures to concretely start the program, with the certainty that "whoever saves one life, saves the whole world", as the well-known sentence of the Talmud affirms. The Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Italian government on November 4 provides for the activation of a legal entry channel in Italy for Afghan citizens in need of international protection, coming from refugee camps in Pakistan, Iran or other countries of first asylum or transit. 1,200 people will be welcomed in two years (with a possible extension), transferred on flights organized by the Italian government. Among the signatory organizations are Italian Caritas, the Federation of Evangelical Churches, Tavola Valdese, the Community of Sant'Egidio, Arci. At the conference entitled "Afghanistan, the future denied", held in Trento on December 14, the organizations highlighted the value of the initiative, which involves collaboration between the Italian government and civil society, underlining the value of the model of humanitarian corridors. "The model works and bears fruit - it was noted - above all because it goes far beyond simple transfer, evacuation, or resettlement. It involves the careful preparation of the reception network, in the context and in the territories that will host the people welcomed, taking into account the types and specific needs of those who are suddenly catapulted into another country".
This reception network, made up of families, communities, parishes, local organizations, facilitates the integration and therefore, also the process of self-determination of the people welcomed, who can re-shape their future. On the other hand, it is necessary to prepare the destination areas, so that the people received can find adequate assistance and fertile ground at all levels: logistical, solidarity, cultural.
Cesare Zucconi, from the Community of Sant'Egidio, points out that the humanitarian corridors initiative "has opened a new path, managed entirely by civil society organizations; a path that aims to avoid the journeys of death, seeking safe and legal routes, both for the people involved and for the host countries". Thus, good practices have been consolidated that can be reproduced at European level, following the general criterion of welcoming and protecting vulnerable people. The organizations involved ask the Italian government to quickly activate the procedures to facilitate the process, opening channels of dialogue with the governments of the countries involved (especially Pakistan and Iran), also coordinating family reunification initiatives. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 15/12/2021)