Home World News solidarity, Italy is preparing for a massive influx of refugees

solidarity, Italy is preparing for a massive influx of refugees

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More than 17,000 Ukrainians have already arrived in Italy, mainly through the Slovenian border. Their main destinations are the cities of Milan, Bologna, Rome and Naples, where the majority of the 148,000 Ukrainians residing in Italy live, 80% of whom are women. They work, for the most part, as home helpers and make up for the insufficient number of carers and nursing homes.

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“It’s also a matter of tradition. We prefer to keep our parents at home, explains Lina, a Roman lawyer, who has installed her elderly and dependent mother in her home. My husband is very busy with his job, and our two children are students. We have therefore shared our life, for five years, with Olga, a “badante” (name given to home helpers for the elderly, editor’s note) Ukrainian, which costs us €1,300 per month but brings us comfort and serenity. »

One million euros released for education

Like hundreds of other families, Lina’s opens its hearts to exodus Ukrainians. “We hope to welcome Olga’s niece and her two little ones, who are trying to flee Kharkiv. » According to the Interior Ministry, about 800,000 Ukrainians will take refuge in Italy.

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The Draghi government decreed a state of humanitarian emergency from February 25 until December 31 in order to quickly take steps to assist refugees and facilitate family reunification. Some 16,000 first places have been reserved in reception centres, managed under the authority of the presidents of the regions, some of whom have also entered into agreements with convents and hotels. Dozens of NGOs such as Caritas, the Community of Sant’Egidio or Save The Children are also mobilized.

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For its part, the Ministry of Education has released 1 million euros for schoolchildren, students and teachers to learn Italian and attend establishments of the education system or research institutes. At the health level, several regions have already made screening and vaccination centers available to refugees against Covid-19, measles, poliomyelitis and rubella. Under the temporary protection scheme, all will have free access to health services. Special efforts are even made for children with cancer whose treatment has been interrupted.

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The political class united in welcoming refugees

These initiatives are supported by the entire political class, which is unprecedented in Italy, where far-right forces continue to rebel against migrants landing on the southern coasts. But Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy, the only party in opposition, argues that we must “give the maximum support to the Ukrainians and that, for them, refugee status is a duty”. As for the leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, he repeats like a mantra “I have always fought against the arrival of illegal immigrants, but the Ukrainians, I would gladly go and look for them by the thousands because they are real refugees who are fleeing a real war”.

Massimo Marnetto, coordinator of Cercles Liberté et Justice, a citizen think tank close to the Democratic Party, deplores these statements, which reflect selective empathy. “We must question ourselves about our altruism which too often disappears when it comes to victims of other dramatic situations and who have another color of skin. »

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