Welcoming committee for the arrival of 64 Syrian refugees in Rome | Photo: Telenews
Welcoming committee for the arrival of 64 Syrian refugees in Rome | Photo: Telenews

The Humanitarian Corridors project in Italy has brought a total of 91 refugees to Rome from Lebanon over the span of two days. The new arrivals, who arrived in two separate groups, will be accommodated and integrated in regions throughout the country.

A group of 64 Syrian refugees arrived at Rome's Fiumicino airport from Lebanon Tuesday morning as part of the Human Corridors project that's underway in Italy.

The project, which is sponsored by the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy (FCEI), the Community of Sant'Egidio, and the Waldensian Table, brought the migrants to Rome on a commercial Alitalia flight.  The resettlement took place in accord with the Italian interior and foreign ministries.

On Monday, a separate group of 27 migrants arrived at Fiumicino, bringing the overall total of migrants who came to Italy through the project in two days to 91. The migrants and refugees began identification and initial reception procedures immediately after their flight landed at seven o'clock in the morning.

Nearly 2,700 migrants

The Humanitarian Corridors project, which is entirely self-financed, has already brought nearly 2,700 migrants and refugees to Europe. The project began in Italy but has also been adopted by other countries.

It is financed with fundraising by the Community of Sant'Egidio and the personal income tax devolution known as "8x1,000" to organized religions, which is received by the Waldensian Table.

Since February 2016, more than 2,200 refugees have arrived in Italy: over 1,700 from Lebanon and 500 from Ethiopia. In addition, roughly 500 migrants have arrived in France, Belgium and Andorra.

Official welcome and accommodations

The migrants on Tuesday were officially welcomed at 11 am by Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Community of Sant'Egidio; Luca Maria Negro, FCEI president; and Manuela Vinay, director of the Waldensian 8x1,000 office. Representatives from the interior and foreign ministries were also present.

The new arrivals will be managed by associations, parishes, communities and families in different Italian regions.

Together with their accommodations, the adult migrants will immediately be offered Italian language lessons, while the children will be enrolled in school. Job placement will also be offered once the adults receive refugee status.
Tuesday's arrival coincided with UNHCR awarding the Nansen Refugee Award for the Europe region to the Humanitarian Corridors project.

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