ROME – A group of 30 Syrian people arrived in Rome on Tuesday as part of a project aiming to safely transfer refugees to Europe.
The group that arrived was mainly composed of families who had lived in Lebanese refugee camps, and it was the first batch of a group of 1,000 people to be relocated within Europe until 2019.
“We ask you to adopt us as your brothers and sisters,” said Italy’s deputy foreign affairs minister, Mario Giro, adding that the initiative was the result of considering how to tackle the drama of war in the most reasonable and efficient way.
The refugees arrived on the morning to Rome’s Fiumicino airport and were greeted by the president of the San Egidio Community, Marco Impagliazzo, the president of the Italian Evangelical Churches, Luca Maria Negro, and Giro, among other officials.
The project, dubbed “Humanitarian Corridors,” is an initiative launched by the Catholic Community of San Egidio, the Federation of Italian Evangelical Churches and the Valdese church seeking to offer people fleeing war-torn countries a safe and legal passage to Europe, without the possibility of getting tangled in human trafficking networks.
Once in Europe, they are given daily social assistance, and accommodation in parishes, religious institutes, private apartments or with boarding families, where they learn the host nation’s language, customs and begin the integration process.
The first Humanitarian Corridor agreement was signed in Italy in December 2015 and enabled the transfer of 1,000 refugees in 2017.
Italian authorities renewed the agreement, seeking a similar outcome in 2019.
The arrival of these 30 Syrians in Rome came a day after a similar contingent of 40 refugees arrived in Paris as part of the same initiative.