By Vatican News staff writer
45 refugees from Niger, who have lived the hell of Libya, will arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Airport on 23 June. Their arrival, along with that of many refugees pin prievious years, is thanks to a new humanitarian corridor organised by Caritas Italiana, the Italian Bishops' Conference, and UNHCR. These refugees will try to rebuild their lives in the various dioceses of the country.
In a press release, Caritas Italiana explains that humanitarian corridors allow a safe and legal transfer of people in need of international protection from a third country to Italy. Thanks, in fact, to the protocols established with the Italian Government and the funds of the 8×1000 donated to the Catholic Church, as well as through Caritas Italiana and the support of families, parishes, associations and schools, the Italian bishops in recent years have been able to organise humanitarian corridors, resettlements and humanitarian evacuations from the Middle East and Africa. The refugees travel in small groups and so far more than a thousand people have been helped. They are taken care of by Christian communities throughout the country, to avoid a large concentration and to make "the reception more sustainable and successful."
Pope Francis' support
Pope Francis has often expressed his concern for all the refugees and migrants who are trapped in detention centers in Libya.
The Pope has asked the international community to help evacuate those trapped, “especially the women, the children and the sick, as soon as possible through the safety of humanitarian corridors".
Italy started taking in refugees from Libya via humanitarian corridors in February 2016.
The need for real change
However, Fr Francesco Soddu, director of Caritas Italiana, spoke on this occasion of the need for "an authentic change of strategy and culture", stressing how "the theme of migratory flows can no longer be addressed from an emergency perspective or limited to Europe and the Mediterranean, but must be included in a broader framework".
Caritas, in the press release, recalls how in 2021 more than 800 people have already disappeared in the Mediterranean and more than 13,000 are those intercepted and reported back to Libya alone.