Refugees, victims of various conflicts, now safe in Italy thanks to the humanitarian corridors of Sant'Egidio and Protestant Churches

Today a new group of 41 people arrived, expected 22 more in the coming days. The commitment to hospitality and integration continues

Humanitarian corridors continue for refugees from conflicts other than Ukraine. This morning, 41 Syrian refugees who have been living for many years in refugee camps in the Bekaa Valley and northern Lebanon or in precarious accommodation in the suburbs of Beirut and Tripoli landed at Fiumicino on a flight from Beirut. The refugees are families and individuals who have suffered a severe deterioration in their living conditions in recent months, not only because of the pandemic, but also because of Lebanon's very serious political, economic and social crisis.

A further 22 people are expected on 30 May, making a total of 63 people. 23 of them are minors who, due to the precarious situation in Lebanon, cannot attend school and some sick people who will be taken care of in Italian hospitals. This arrival has also allowed some family reunions with relatives who had previously arrived in our country via the humanitarian corridors.

The refugees were able to enter Italy through the Humanitarian Corridors system promoted by the Community of Sant'Egidio, the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy and the Tavola Valdese, in agreement with the Ministries of the Interior and Foreign Affairs, which have brought over 2,300 people to safety in our country from Lebanon since February 2016. In total, more than 4,600 asylum seekers have arrived in Europe with the humanitarian corridors.

The families who arrived this morning will be welcomed by associations, parishes, communities and individual citizens in various Italian regions (Sardinia, Lazio, Lombardy, Calabria, Sicily, Tuscany, Piedmont, Apulia, Emilia Romagna, Trentino) and will be set out on integration pathways: immediate enrolment in school for the minors, Italian language courses and integration into the world of work for the adults. The humanitarian corridors are an entirely self-financed project that has been implemented thanks to a widespread reception network. They represent a good practice that combines solidarity and security.