“I hope that Europe and Italy can do more” to alleviate the humanitarian crisis, “of which Kurdistan is bearing the heaviest weight”. These were the words of Minister Paolo Gentiloni, visiting the refugee camp at Bahrka, about 40 minutes from Erbil. Run by the UNHCR along with Italian NGOs Intersos and Un Ponte Per, the camp accommodates 3000 people who fled from Mossul after the attack by ISIS. In the tents in the camp, Gentiloni met groups of children at their lessons. The Minister underscored that “at this time the greatest concern for the people living in the camps is the approach of winter. So, through Italian cooperation, we need to do more”, added the Minister.
Greetings to the Italian military personnel
“There is a great deal of work to be done. We’re combating a new terrorist threat, and Italy’s commitment is highly appreciated by those on the ground. We’re very proud of you”. This was Minister Gentiloni’s greeting to the first 34 Italian military personnel to arrive at the Erbil camp in Kurdistan to train the Peshmerga. At present, the Italian military are housed in an American military camp. Some of the 34 soldiers, who include 3 women, have already begun training the Kurdish forces. In January another 200 Italian military will arrive in the Erbil camp, while 80 will be deployed in Baghdad.
“Our mission”, said Gentiloni, “is not just about training. It also includes those humanitarian goals for which we are so highly appreciated throughout the world”.