Over the past year, Italy's System of reception and integration (SAI) has increased by an additional 3,000 places the number of spots it offers to unaccompanied foreign minors for a total of 6,698. That's according to the National association of Italian municipalities (ANCI).
A number of decrees published on Wednesday (August 11) by the Italian interior ministry showed that, over the past year, Italy's System of reception and integration (SAI) has increased the number of places offered to unaccompanied foreign minors by 3,000 units for a total of 6,698 spots.
"It is historically the highest number since the creation of SPRAR (the Italian acronym previously used for the hosting system for refugees and asylum seekers in Italy)," said ANCI's delegate for immigration, Prato Mayor Matteo Biffoni.
"We must recognize that the ministry has made a significant effort to support municipalities, who are responsible for minors," added Biffoni.
'A very important response'
Biffoni stressed in a statement that "the time necessary for the activation" of the new places "will not allow an immediate response to the difficulties faced today by municipalities, especially metropolitan cities of the North, but this remains without a doubt a very important response and we must give credit to the ministry."
The mayor said ANCI was willing to cooperate with the ministry to solve the "structural issues often preventing from dealing with the critical aspects of the phenomenon."
7,802 foreign minors alone in Italy as of June 30
According to the latest report monitoring unaccompanied foreign minors (Msna) in Italy, published by the labor ministry's office for immigration and integration policies, as of June 30, 2021, a recorded 7,802 unaccompanied foreign minors were present in the country, up 55.5% from the previous year.
The great majority of unaccompanied foreign minors were male (96.7%) and 17-year-olds (64.2%). They came mainly from Bangladesh (1,974 minors), Tunisia (1,174) and Egypt (713). Sicily was the region that hosted the highest number of minors (2,461, 31.5%), followed by Puglia (904, 11.6%) and Friuli-Venezia Giulia (831, 10.7%).