ITALY: 200+ Migrants and Refugees land in Sicily, one on his birthday.

Update From The Field: Italy

Migrants and Refugees land in Pozzallo, Sicily. 


EMERGENCY NGO Sicily Ibrahim came ashore in Sicily with over 200 other migrants and refugees, but for him landing in Europe was especially momentous: it was his birthday.As Ibrahim turned 22, he landed at Pozzallo, southern Italy, along with 244 other people. Just before his medical examination in our Mobile Clinic, we realised it was his birthday, and we gave him a smile and wished him a ‘happy birthday’. Ibrahim was really touched. Sometimes, even the smallest gesture is enough.

“Thank you, that was the best present I could have wished for.”

Ibrahim was happy because he had managed to cross the desert, pass through Libya, and make it across the sea alive. But also because he had finally found some humanity in the person in front of him.

Over the last year and a half, EMERGENCY staff have been present at landings of migrants and refugees in southern Italy, ready to provide basic care to those who arrive via the central Mediterranean route. Those we help are frequently dehydrated and undernourished, and often bear clear signs of torture and trauma, usually sustained during their journey through ‎Libya. The people who face these journeys leave their home country, head to Libya, and cross the Strait of Sicily. They have no other option: they’re fleeing from war, dictatorships, and poverty. That’s why we will be there to provide assistance for as long as we are needed.

Find out more about our work helping migrants and refugees who come ashore in Southern Italy here, or you can read about our Primary Health Clinics across Northern Iraq which providing basic healthcare to Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqis.

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