Percorso:ANSA > Nuova Europa > Germany > German government to fund migrant NGOs in Italy

German government to fund migrant NGOs in Italy

For projects at sea and on land, says foreign ministry

22 September, 16:51

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 22 - The German government is to fund non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to support migrants and refugees arriving in Italy by sea and once they have arrived, a German foreign ministry spokesman told ANSA on Friday. "Funding of hundreds of thousands of euros for a project to assist migrants ashore in Italy and one for an NGO that operates rescues "at sea" is "imminent", said the spokesperson, without specifying which organisations would receive the funding. The spokesperson told ANSA that the foreign ministry is implementing a "financial support programme set up by the Bundestag (the German parliament, ed.) that aims to "support both civil rescue at sea and projects on land for people rescued at sea". "We have received several applications for funding. In two cases, the examination of the applications has already been completed. The disbursement of funds in these two cases is imminent," he continued. "These are a project for the onshore assistance in Italy of people rescued at sea and a project of a non-governmental organisation on sea rescue," said the spokesman, adding that each project would receive between 400,000 and 800,000 euros. "Rescuing people who are in distress at sea is a legal, humanitarian and moral duty," he continued.
    "Like national coast guards, in particular the Italian Coast Guard, civilian rescuers in the central Mediterranean also use their ships to save people in distress at sea," concluded the spokesperson. Several German NGOs already operate migrant search and rescue missions in the central Mediterranean, alongside others from France and Italy. The right-wing government of Premier Giorgia Meloni has restricted their activities by banning multiple sea rescues and instructing ships to disembark rescued migrants and refugees in distant ports. Italy is struggling to manage a 100% increase in the number of sea arrivals in 2023, with 132,832 people having arrived so far according to interior ministry data. 1,599 migrants and refugees died or went missing in the Central Mediterranean in the same period according to UNHCR data.
    The Italian government is astonished at news that Germany is set to fund NGOs rescuing migrants at sea and helping them in Italy too, and demands clarification, sources at the office of Premier Giorgia Meloni said Friday. The sources voiced "great astonishment at the news reported by ANSA according to which a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany has announced imminent funding to NGOs for a project to assist migrants on Italian territory and a project of 'rescues' at sea". "The Italian government will immediately contact the German authorities for clarification. "It is hoped that the news is unfounded because the financing by Germany of NGO activities on Italian territory would be a serious anomaly." (ANSA).

© Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved