Rome (NEV/CS38), 12 August 2019 – The President of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI), Reverend Luca Maria Negro, and the Moderator of the Union of Methodist and Waldensian Churches, Reverend Eugenio Bernardini, have written to the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli to reaffirm their willingness to host the refugees saved by the Open Arms on 2 August last.
“We wish to reiterate – to you and to the European Parliament – that the facilities of the FCEI and Union of Methodist and Waldensian Churches are available to host these people, who are waiting for such time as a European accord – which, fittingly, you too hope for – takes shape,” reads the letter. It continues by inviting him “to prioritise the health and future of people who have already undergone severe trauma”.
Negro and Bernardini, who wrote four days ago to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and to Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini to confirm their willingness to host, are urgently asking for a “temporary humanitarian compromise which would have the great merit of providing relief to people who are already at the end of their rope”.
Whether it be the FCEI, through its Mediterranean Hope programme, or whether it be the Union of Methodist and Waldensian Churches via the Waldensian Diaconate, both are already involved in hosting and in managing, together with the Community of Sant’Egidio, the “humanitarian corridors”, resulting from a protocol with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of the Interior.
The Open Arms has now been eleven days on the open seas with more than 160 people aboard. Medical evacuations became necessary during the course of last night for a suspected case of TB and then, this morning, for a woman struck down by pneumonia and another suffering from a brain tumour. The two women, together with their families, will be looked after in Malta.