COOPI’s worldwide operations increased once again in 2017. It means also that the number of humanitarian crises we have tried to respond to as effectively as ever has increased. We have decided not to limit ourselves to intervening when there is an emergency, only to then move on elsewhere; instead, we remain alongside the communities hit by those emergencies in the medium-to-long-term, so as to help them overcome their critical issues and launch a reconstruction process.
Our ‘Help a Warrior’ campaign is a good example of this way of working. In regions where armed conflicts are raging, children cannot lead a normal life, go to school or play: they really do need to be ‘young warriors’ to tackle these challenges day after day. In such situations, we don’t limit ourselves to providing food and shelter; we look past that emergency and reconstruct a ‘normal’ environment where even ‘young warriors’ can go to school in safety and serenity.
Over the last year, humanitarian crises have often been intertwined to the phenomenon of migration and therefore to the fears of many people, as well as media hype. We decided not to work in Italy where others undoubtedly have more experience, but rather to continue doing what we do best: trying to alleviate the conditions of economic and social hardship that drive millions of people to immigrate.
In the Lake Chad basin, for example, COOPI increased its commitment enormously in 2017. This is a crucial area that has been hit by drought and the insecurity caused by Boko Haram attacks, and is crossed by migration routes that lead from the heart of the continent to Libya. COOPI works in all four of the countries hit by the crisis with specially tailored programmes that range from food security to the reconstruction of schools and re-integration of rejected migrants.
In this annual report, we will attempt to account all these activities. However, above and beyond this statement, our friends know that they can always have up-to-date information about our work visiting www.coopi.org or sending me a message: I will be happy to reply.