The first of three groups of Afghan refugees that will add a total of around 300 people have arrived in the capital city of Rome using a fresh humanitarian corridor which has been established by the government of Italy, charities and international organizations.
The ministry added, “The humanitarian corridor is aiming to give “additional refugees and persecuted Afghans the possibility of a future in dignity and security” after the withdrawal of the United States-led international troops in August last year and the Taliban’s returning to power.”
The first group of nine people have arrived in Rome from Tehran on July 25 to be followed by a larger second group of over 200 Afghans due to arrive from Pakistan on July 27. The third group will reportedly fly from Tehran to Italy on July 28.
The ministry said, “The 300 refugees arriving this week are part of an expected total of 1,200 Afghan refugees from Iran, Pakistan and other neighbouring nations and the women along with children will have priority.
The UN refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) were also involved in organizing the corridor along with charities including the Community of Sant’Egidio and Caritas.
Thousands of Afghans were taken out after the fall of Kabul, but many who risked Taliban retribution were left behind.
Italy has been attempting for several years to arrange humanitarian corridors as an alternative for illegal migration for those fleeing conflict, persecution or other threatening situations.
But, the number of those being able to use such corridors are small compared to the tens of thousands of people who resort to smugglers to reach Europe.
As per the data released by the UN refugee agency, “3,280 Afghan refugees have arrived in Italy this year alone by the perilous Mediterranean Sea smuggling route that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.