Afghanistan: A Tragedy that Calls for Solidarity

Intervention of the Archbishop of Ferrara, Monsignor Gian Carlo Perego, President of the Migrations Commission and Migrants Foundation of the Italian Episcopal Conference

Tragedy Calls Solidarity

The President of the Migrations Commission and Migrants Foundation of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), Monsignor Gian Carlo Perego, wrote a reflection on the situation Afghanistan is living after the Taliban took power, describing it as a “tragedy that calls for solidarity.” Here are his words:

The dramatic hours that people are living in the cities and villages of Afghanistan are under everyone’s eyes. It’s a tragedy that has lasted for years and is worsening in these hours, leading many Afghans to flee from their country by any means, and also reach Italy — where the Afghan community numbers 15,000 people — and Europe. Thousands of Afghans landed in Italy last year and as many this year. Some were received, but many of them continued their journey in Europe. Others in Libyan camps and prisons were rejected.

Need for Europe’s Common Action

 Afghanistan’s tragedy of these hours calls again for a European common action in the Mediterranean, which unites the controls, the rescue, the recognition, and the protection of those that have a right to international protection, in different ways, and their reception in all European countries.

 Foster Reunification

 At the same time, it’s necessary to foster and accelerate the reunification of family members of Afghans in Italy, who have family members in their country. Present in Afghanistan, in addition to women and children, are the elderly  <and> the disabled that cannot, as others, flee and walk, but are in immediate need of an airlift and also of humanitarian corridors, which can give them safe reception in one of the countries of Europe and of the world that up to now were present in Afghanistan.

As CEI’s Presidency stated, the Churches in Italy will continue to receive Afghans and all those that ask for international protection, collaborating with institutions, but also continuing to urge a migratory policy that comes out of ideological turns and opens to the concreteness of the hospitality, the protection, the promotion and the integration of every migrant.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester