State Minister Hirut meets representatives of Italian charity groups

State Minister Hirut Zemene met with representatives of "Comunita Di Sant'Egidio" and "Caritas Italiana", charity groups based in Italy today (April 19, 2017) and discussed on ways of exploring areas of cooperation on migration and refugee management.

The charity groups announced that they have come up with a new project designed to help the community of refugees in Africa.

State Minister Hirut Zemene welcomed the initiative and said the proposed project on refugees and migration management is very helpful for the current efforts of mitigating migration. Taking note of the fact that there are a number of active projects working on migration and refugees management in Ethiopia, she underlined that this project would be a plus. The State Minister also noted that Ethiopia and Italy have strong and longstanding relations and a growing level of cooperation in bilateral, regional and international fora.

Dr. Giancarlo Penza, head of the delegation, mentioned that Italy along with a range of partners is working effortlessly to manage migration and the refugee influx. He mentioned that this time his delegation has come up with another project that focuses on security of the refugees, the people who welcome them, and vulnerable people along the route. Dr. Giancarlo Penza praised Ethiopia's open-door policy for refugees, which he described as a very important contribution in dealing with migration. Noting that the overall socio-economic and political fabric of Ethiopia has been in the right trajectory, he said, "That's why, we came to Ethiopia as our first mission of the projects in Africa."

The Community of Sant'Egidio was born in Rome in 1968, following the Second Vatican Council. Today, it is a laity movement engaged in the communication of the Gospel and charity in Rome, Italy and in more than 70 countries of the various continents. It is recognized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity as "Public Association of Church Laity". 

Founded in 1971, Caritas Italiana (Caritas Italy) works as part of the Catholic Church to raise awareness on issues around charity, care for those in need and promote the importance of concrete actions for the poor.