'Welcome and integration. This makes the humanitarian corridors a positive immigration that enriches our society’ the President of Sant'Egidio welcomed 49 Syrian refugees

‘There is no European country that is not aware, especially for economic reasons, that Europe needs new forces. Therefore, a positive immigration where, in addition to reception, there is integration, is a strongly positive message to show that migrants are a resource and thus not a problem for our European societies. A legal Corridor means that, in addition to reception, there is integration, in schools. in the job market, in Italian society. Therefore, it is a strongly positive immigration that enriches our society. We should work more and better on welcoming that leads to integration’. Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Community of Sant'Egidio, said this at Fiumicino airport, welcoming  49 Syrian refugees who arrived, with the Humanitarian Corridors, on 30 May on a flight from Beirut.
A joyful atmosphere, hugs, tears, handshakes and lots of smiles: the children, who shouted ‘Long live Italy’ several times, were welcomed with colourful balloons and to the rhythm of drums.
For some, there was also a touching embrace with relatives, who arrived with earlier Humanitarian Corridors and are now integrated in our country. ‘They are people saved from the war in Syria, who were living in extremely precarious conditions in Lebanon,’ added Impagliazzo. ‘The country is preparing for political elections and the lives of many Syrians are at risk also for political reasons, and because there is too much pressure on that country. Their lives have been saved through a humanitarian corridor and have not been forced into the hands of human traffickers’.Out of 49 people, 17 are minors. The families come from different cities, including Aleppo, Damascus, Homs. There is a significant presence of Christians, some of them from Al-Qaryatayn, which has been suffering under ISIS occupation.  

They have all lived for a long time in Lebanese refugee camps in the Bekaa valley, in the Akkar region and in precarious accommodation on the outskirts of Beirut, in a very difficult situation due to the political instability and economic crisis in Lebanon, exacerbated by the war between Israel and Hamas.

The refugees will be hosted in 9 Italian regions: Lazio, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Lombardy, Piedmont, Apulia, Tuscany and Veneto. In cities such as Rome, Foggia and Verona, but also in small towns such as Brugherio, Maglie and Rende. This is because, in some cases, it is the families themselves, by now well integrated in Italy, who welcome the new arrivals. For example, a couple of brothers rented a flat to host their sister, who has just arrived.

Since February 2016, the Humanitarian Corridors have brought almost 3,000 people to safety in Italy from Lebanon alone. In total, around 7,200 refugees have arrived in Europe with the Humanitarian Corridors (source ANSA).