Eight bishops’ conferences in Latin America have joined efforts to assist Venezuelans in transit through or settling in their home countries with the help of the Migrant and Refugee Section of the Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development,.
Called ‘Bridges of Solidarity’, the two-year pastoral program seeks to “find common solutions to the challenges posed by the massive flow of Venezuelans, who have decided to move to another South American country in recent years”, the Vatican office said in a press release on May 7.
After a period of study and discussion, the bishops’ conferences of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru forged a coordinated action plan to offer needed services to Venezuelans, other vulnerable migrants and the local communities that host them, the office said.
The initiative was a response to Pope Francis’ call to “welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants and refugees” and reflects many recommendations made in the guide put out by the Migrant and Refugee Section: ‘Responding to Refugees and Migrants: Twenty Action Points’.
The project, which was launched in May, is expected to assist “hundreds of thousands” of Venezuelans, Scalabrini Father Fabio Baggio, undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section said.