IOM Sudan Assists Thirty Five Eritrean Refugee Families to Resettle to Italy

Date Published: 
Oct 1 2017

On September 28th, ninety seven Eritrean refugees, consisting of thirty five families (60 males, 37 females and 18 children) departed from Khartoum International Airport to Rome Airport in Italy on a charter flight organized by IOM. Following their arrival to Rome, the refugees were escorted on domestic commercial flights to Catania (69) and Brindisi (28).

Prior to their departure and in accordance with the Italian medical protocol, health assessments were conducted by IOM Sudan, consisting of physical examinations, chest radiology and laboratory investigations to identify the caseload’s health needs and allow for treatment and follow up in Italy for those who require it. The assessments were also to ensure that all health-related travel, housing, and schooling needs were captured and shared with the Italian authorities prior to movement for resettlement purposes. IOM’s resettlement pre-departure activities also involved cultural orientations sessions on Italy, which were implemented by IOM Khartoum personnel with material support from IOM Rome. The orientation topics involved introducing refugees to Italian geography, political system, climate, and culture and, most importantly, customized information on each family’s protection system within the established Resettlement National Programme with the view to ease refugees’ integration in their new homes.

Additionally, IOM facilitated flight arrangements including charter and landing permits, personalised flight boarding assistance, medical escorts for cases requiring medical attention, as well as operational escorts to facilitate communication with flight crew and supplementary personal assistance to refugees while on flight as it may be the first of their flight experience. Follow up support to these refugees will be given by IOM Italy as needed.

With the generous funding support of the Government of Italy and the European Union, this resettlement is in response to the call by the EC, which resulted in Italy launching its first resettlement programme involving a total of 500 beneficiaries of international protection as pre-selected by UNHCR in Lebanon (Syrians) and Sudan (Eritreans). The resettlement was done in coordination with the Italian Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI); as well as the Sudan Commission for Refugees (COR), Ministry of Interior, Ministry of State Security, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Civil Aviation Authority and with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

From 1 January 2017 to 28 September 2017, IOM Sudan has facilitated the resettlement of 2,795 non-Sudanese refugees to 13 different countries on both admission and family reunification grounds, namely Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and US. Over 57% of the total was resettled to Canada, while Europe accounts for 36%, and the remainder 7% went to the Australia, US and New Zealand in that order.

For further information, please contact IOM Sudan Norberto CELESTINO, Tel: +249 922 40 6618, Email: ncelestino@iom.int