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Covid-19: Del Re, Italy has guaranteed refugee accommodation

“Despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic emergency, Italy has continued to ensure the protection of asylum seekers, taking all necessary measures to guarantee that restrictions on the movement of the entire population were compatible with international obligations”. This was underlined by the Vice Foreign Minister Emanuela Del Re at the virtual press conference presenting the Global Trends report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Del Re stressed the “constant collaboration” with UNHCR, an agency with which there has always been a “fruitful relationship at national level and in the management of the external migratory emergency. I confirm to the High Commissioner, and his new Representative in Italy, that our country will continue to support UNHCR even more and to be present whenever necessary”.

“I would remind you that Italy continues to be the only European country that carries out direct evacuations of refugees from Libya. If other Western states replicated this experience of ours, it would be much easier to extract refugees from Libyan detention centres. For these reasons, Italy believes that a better structured and shared commitment at the European level is needed to facilitate the legal arrival of particularly vulnerable refugees for humanitarian reasons”.

Through humanitarian corridors, resettlements and humanitarian evacuations from Libya, Italy “has ensured in the last three years international protection to nearly 6,000 particularly vulnerable refugees received in countries of the first asylum who are not in a position to offer lasting solutions,” explained the vice minister. “I am also thinking of the generous financial support we have given to the Emergency Transit Mechanism organised by UNHCR in Libya, Niger and Rwanda. It has allowed refugees from the Horn of Africa to move from Libya to places offering acceptable security conditions with a view to resettlement”, continued the Vice Minister.