Fire in Moria. An act of collective responsibility is needed; Europe must welcome asylum seekers who have lost everything

The Community of Sant'Egidio launches an appeal to all the countries of the European Union to welcome urgently the refugees who have lost everything with the fire in the Moria camp.

These are asylum seekers who have been living for months, some for years, in extremely precarious conditions, after having made long and very risky trips to escape from wars or unsustainable situations, mostly coming from Afghanistan. A camp that was supposed to hold only 3,000 people now holds more than 13,000 - most of them families, 40% of them minors. Although

Europe, if it still lives up to its tradition of civilization and humanity, must take responsibility through an act of collective responsibility.

We, who in many, youth and adults from different European countries, this summer spent an "alternative vacation" to support the refugees - offering outlets of food and rest, entertainment for children, and English courses for adolescents - can testify their thirst for dignity and future. We could tell the stories of integration of those we accompanied to Europe with the humanitarian corridor that Pope Francis inaugurated in April 2016 when he took some refugees with him in his plane on his return from his visit to Lesbos.

In the meantime, to face the emergency of these hours, we ask for the urgent transfer of the refugees to equipped camps, provided with services, on the mainland, to avoid further dramas of despair. It is also necessary that the associations present on the island have free access to bring immediate aid to the refugees.

Help Sant'Egidio continue to bring people safely into Europe by donating to our Humanitarian Corridors