Syrian refugees coming from Lebanon are welcomed by the Comunità di Sant'Egidio on disembarking at Rome's Fiumicino airport on November 27, 2019 | ANSA/Telenews
Syrian refugees coming from Lebanon are welcomed by the Comunità di Sant'Egidio on disembarking at Rome's Fiumicino airport on November 27, 2019 | ANSA/Telenews

The civil society-driven Humanitarian Corridors initiative has enabled 54 Syrian refugees to travel to Rome on Friday. This trip marks the end of the second mission of the initiative, which is implemented by different Italian churches.

On Friday (December 18), 54 Syrian refugees arrived at Fiumicino airport outside the Italian capital as part of the Humanitarian Corridors initiative.

Enacted through a protocol from the interior and foreign Italian ministries, Humanitarian Corridors is implemented by the Waldensian Church, the Community of Sant'Egidio and the Federation of Evangelical Churches (FCEI).

The arrivals consist of families who had sought refuge in Lebanon, where they were staying in refugee camps. Among them are single mothers with children and vulnerable youths.

They took a COVID-19 test on departure and on arrival, as well as underwent all bureaucratic procedures. Now, the refugees are to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

'Sign of hope'

The arrival of Syrians thanks to Humanitarian Corridors is a "sign of great hope in the International Day of Migrants," Daniela Pompei, the head of immigration services with the Community of Sant'Egidio, told ANSA on Thursday.

She pointed out that some people who arrived three years ago through other humanitarian corridors were among the Arab interpreters who helped on arrivals. "This is ... a model for reception and integration that has worked," she said.

Since 2016, the civil society-driven initiative has brought nearly 2,700 migrants and refugees to Europe, more than 2,200 of those to Italy.

Having been named the 2019 Europe regional winner for UNHCR's Nansen Refugee Award, Humanitarian Corridors Italy is widely considered a success that's already expanded to other EU countries.

Second mission concluded

The arrival of the 54 Syrian refugees concluded the second mission of the Humanitarian Corridors initiative. Like the first mission, the second mission enabled 1,000 people to go to Italy thanks to the issuing of humanitarian visas.

"We have already asked," Sant'Egidio's Pompei said, "to be able to continue for two more years for 1,000 more refugees. Using this model, entirely self-funded, they come safely and then are helped along the entire integration process."

The Waldensian church is the largest Protestant denomination in italy, which is predominantly Catholic

 

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