Children who have fled Ukraine are welcomed in Monza, Lombardy, on March 26, 2022 | Photo: ANSA/MATTEO BAZZI
Children who have fled Ukraine are welcomed in Monza, Lombardy, on March 26, 2022 | Photo: ANSA/MATTEO BAZZI

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has launched a program in Italy to provide support to Ukrainians who have fled the conflict. The initiative is already active in Milan, Rome and Trieste and will soon open in Naples.

Medical aid organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has launched a project in Italy to support Ukrainian refugees, providing initial psychological assistance, information on social and health programs as well as access to care in support of a network of organizations hosting people fleeing the conflict, such as ARCI, Caritas and Refugees Welcome Italia.

The project is carried out in coordination with regions, the civil protection agency and Italian healthcare institutions, the Italian chapter of the organization said on Monday (April 11).

MSF's initiative is already active in the capital Rome and in the northern cities of Milan and Trieste. It will be launched in the coming days in the southern port city of Naples, MSF said.

Assistance to overcome trauma

Four teams -- including psychologists, nurses and cultural mediators -- are active to promote healthcare and to identify people with specific vulnerabilities and medical needs in hosting centers, in families hosting refugees and in communities and gathering areas across the territory.

"Among the thousands of people who have been arriving these days in Italy to flee the conflict in Ukraine, there are adults and children who have lost dear ones, experienced terrible trauma and who have been forced to abandon everything to reach safety," said Sara Radighieri, health coordinator of MSF projects in Italy.

"Our objective is to take care of the possible physical and psychological consequences of the traumatic events they experienced. We will offer them psychological support and socio-sanitary assistance, starting from a number of Italian cities that are welcoming the highest number of refugees."

Intervention already active to benefit people arriving from other countries

This project is organized in addition to activities of assistance and orientation that MSF already operates in favor of foreigners arriving in Italy from other countries. Moreover, as for other projects, MSF will continue to monitor potential barriers in access to care for these groups of people.

"Together with regular actions and projects that we organize each year for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who are present and arriving in Italy, we believe it is also necessary to intervene in support of the population fleeing conflict in Ukraine," said Marco Bertotto, the director of MSF programs.

"Although with a small intervention, we want to offer support and assistance to all those who need it," Bertotto said.


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