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World News

Pope's support for refugee 'humanitarian corridors'

by Donna Birrell

Pope Francis says he supports ‘humanitarian corridors’ to bring refugees to Italy and other European countries.

He was speaking while meeting hundreds of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Rwanda and Ukraine at the Vatican.

Humanitarian corridors have operated in Italy since 2016. The Pope said they had saved lives and helped asylum-seekers acclimatise while church groups provided housing, education and work opportunities. He said :

“Humanitarian corridors not only aim to bring refugees to Italy and other European countries, rescuing them from situations of uncertainty, danger and endless waiting; they also work toward integration.” 

The Pope was told that the Sant’Egidio Catholic charity, the Federation of Evangelical Churches and the Waldensian Church had spearheaded the ecumenical humanitarian transfer initiative in Italy, which has brought more than 6,000 people to Europe.

The Pope’s support for humanitarian corridors comes as the UK Home Secretary says asylum seekers who arrive in Britain illegally could be sent to Rwanda within weeks. Under the Migration and Economic Development Partnership, people who make dangerous journey to the UK, such as by small boat, will be relocated to the African nation, where they will be supported to rebuild their lives.

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