“Humanitarian corridors” initiative brings a hundred Afghan refugees to Rome

Around a hundred refugees from Afghanistan arrive in Rome, as part of the “Humanitarian Corridors” initiative, which is sponsored by groups including Italy’s Catholic and Evangelical churches.

By Joseph Tulloch

Thursday morning will see a group of around a hundred refugees from Afghanistan arrive in Rome.

Their arrival is part of the “Humanitarian Corridors” initiative, organized by Italy’s Catholic and Evangelical Churches, the Italian government, the Community of Sant’Egidio, and other groups.

Around half of them will be in the care of Caritas Italiana, the charitable arm of the Italian Bishops Conference, and half will be looked after by the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy. One family will be taken in by the Community of Sant’Egidio. 

A model for Europe

Vatican News spoke briefly to Laura Stopponi, a representative of Caritas Italiana, about the humanitarian corridors project.

Pope Francis has praised the initiative – which aims to bring refugees safely to Europe, removing the need for dangerous sea crossings – and called for it to become a model for refugee resettlement schemes. Asked whether she thought there had been any progress toward this goal, Stopponi replied:

Well, I don’t think there is progress. We think that they are a model, in a sense: instead of making these people travel for a long time and risk their lives in hands of criminals, this could be really a good way to bring people here that have the right to have asylum, because they are coming from a situation of war.”