Handout picture, released by Region Friuli Press Office, shows an ambulance arriving at a hospital in Trieste, northeast Italy on March 23, 2020 | Photo: ANSA/Giovanni Montenero/Regione Cronache Agency/Region Friuli Press Office
Handout picture, released by Region Friuli Press Office, shows an ambulance arriving at a hospital in Trieste, northeast Italy on March 23, 2020 | Photo: ANSA/Giovanni Montenero/Regione Cronache Agency/Region Friuli Press Office

The Italian migrant aid organization Linea d'Ombra has called for immediate assistance for migrants and the homeless amid the Covid-19 emergency. Between 50 and 100 people gathered in a square in the city of Trieste every day without "shelter, food, or water," the NGO warned.

An association assisting migrants in Italy's northeastern port city of Trieste has warned that migrants and the homeless are being ignored by the government amid the flurry of measures taken to counter the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

"Around Trieste's Piazza Libertà, which an order issued by the mayor has closed, between 50 and 100 people gather every day. They do not have shelter, food, or water to wash themselves with. This is a clear risk to public health," the Linea d'Ombra association said in a statement.

The NGO called for a "responsible action plan" for migrants and the homeless for "the entire duration of the epidemic emergency."

'Ignored by institutions'

The country's institutions, Linea d'Ombra said in the statement, utterly ignored migrants and homeless people.

The NGO's own volunteers were the only ones "partially filling the gaps left by this lack of assistance," the association said, adding that the volunteers were working alongside doctors and nurses from the Don Kisciotte association.

According to Linea d'Ombra, the volunteers were working at Piazza della Libertà and then in the Porto Vecchio area, "with authorization from the town council and under local police surveillance."

Food rations, clothes and medication

Every day, "between 60 and 100 food rations as well as clothes and medication have been handed out," the association said, adding that it was trying to "comply with measures brought in to avoid contagion."

Linea d'Ombrat also called on "government institutions, the town council, the prefect's office and the civil protection to draw up a plan as soon as possible."

The NGO demanded an "adequate response to those left in the city without shelter and assistance, as is already happening in many Italian cities despite very different political orientations of their administrations."
 

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