Geneva – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and Community of Sant’Egidio signed today a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at establishing a global cooperation framework for an effective response to the needs of refugees and to facilitate better humanitarian access and emergency response.
The agreement was signed by Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and Professor Marco Impagliazzo, President of Community of Sant’Egidio, on the margins of the High Level Officials Meeting in Geneva.
The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding is to establish a framework for strengthening operational collaboration in areas of crisis, to prevent and respond to emergencies, and on a number of policy issues of global and regional relevance.
In addition, close and regular collaboration will be maintained with regards to Humanitarian Corridors, a community sponsorship program which allows for the safe and regular arrival of refugees into Europe. Humanitarian Corridors were awarded UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award for Europe in 2019, in recognition of the outstanding achievements in the protection of refugees, allowing them to rebuild their future in safety and dignity without having to risk their lives in perilous journeys.
“With the unprecedented displacement of people around the world, this agreement with the Community of Sant’Egidio is critical and will enhance our long-standing cooperation; reinforcing the promotion of safe and regular pathways to asylum, in particular through their Humanitarian Corridors program,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
“In many years of cooperation we have verified the complementarity between Sant’Egidio and UNHCR and concretely discovered that working together makes us more effective. Humanitarian corridors, a best practice based on civil society that promotes the integration of refugees, can become a model for the entire European Union”, commented Marco Impagliazzo, president of Community of Sant’Egidio.
Community of Sant’Egidio is a faith-based organization founded in 1968 and present in 73 countries around the world. It has been involved for decades in geo-political crises by conducting humanitarian activities; acting for the prevention of human crises and wars by promoting talks and negotiations to solve conflicts through mediation; promoting interreligious dialogue and pursuing respect for religious freedom and the rights of minorities with special consideration for refugees and migrants.