The Italian Red Cross gives immediate relief at entry ports and as migrants move throughout the country, including providing basic food and non-food items, health care, first aid, psychosocial support, hygiene promotion, and restoring family links. Italy has seen a large influx of migrants come to its shores, and in the first six months of 2015 more than 70,000 people found their way to the country. Many of those journeying have lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean. There are well over 100,000 refugees and asylum seekers residing in Italy, in need of immediate support at entry ports and beyond. This project takes place throughout Italy, including ports in Sicily, Puglia, and Calabria.
As migrants arrive in Italian ports they are given food and water by the Red Cross along with basic first aid, if needed. Hygiene kits are also handed out to prevent the spread of sanitation-related diseases, and those separated from their families can find their way back using family tracing and messaging services. Migrants also often lack adequate information on rights and other basic information to make healthy decisions for the future, thus a critical component is also listening to their voices and understanding what their real needs and plans are. For both migrants and Red Cross staff, psychosocial support is given as needed, and the Italian Red Cross’ capacity is strengthened through improving branch functionality.
This project has a goal of reaching 105,000 people, and prioritises the following groups: people arriving by boat or rescued from the sea in need of urgent assistance and medical care, people with special needs (unaccompanied minors, people living with disabilities, pregnant women, people with chronic diseases etc.), and women and children.