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Lampedusa hotspot 'reorganised' under Red Cross management

Lampedusa hotspot 'reorganised' under Red Cross management

Focus on reception and contingency planning

ROME, 07 June 2023, 17:39

Redazione ANSA




The Lampedusa hotspot has been "reorganized" with particular attention to reception and contingency planning, the Italian Red Cross (CRI) told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday.
    The CRI took over management of the centre that is intended to provide preliminary reception, identification and triage for migrants and refugees arriving on the tiny stepping stone island between north Africa and Europe on June 1 under the terms of the so-called Cutro decree clamping down on irregular migration, overhauling the reception system and boosting legal pathways to Italy.
    "We realized from the outset that reorganizing this centre would be an onerous task," said CRI director of emergency operations and relief Ignazio Schintu of the centre that for years suffered from regular overcrowding.
    The new management said it has "reorganized the reception modules, redone the bathrooms and upgraded a number of services including the kitchen and canteen".
    "Through a series of interventions, starting with (installation of) portable toilets, we are able to accommodate a larger number of people, even just for a very short time," said Schintu, adding that in the first three days of June "about 1,250 people came through the hotspot and within a few days they were gone".
    "The solution is to transfer people to better equipped centres to continue their journey in applying for asylum or whatever else," he added.
    Schintu said the hotspot now has a staff of between 70 and 80 people, including employees and volunteers.
    "We have doctors, health workers, nurses who will make considerable contributions to reception, but also reception workers and mediators: in short, everything that is needed to make this center a flagship of Italy," he said, adding that the CRI's mission at the "gateway to Europe is to restore dignity to all those people who arrive in Italy".
    The management told reporters one of the services that has been boosted is "the re-establishment of family ties", explaining that new arrivals have immediate access to cell phone chargers and a wi-fi network, as well as to family tracing services through the global network of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.
    At 2:30 pm on Wednesday there were 35 people in the hotspot and the management said the aim is to have new arrivals spend no more than 48 hours in the facility before being transferred to first-line reception on mainland Sicily or elsewhere in Italy.


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