The wave of bad weather that has poured over Italy in recent weeks has specifically affected the regions of Emilia-Romagna and Marche. To date, many people continue to work in the terrible,  muddy conditions to assist entire communities that have been displaced and have lost everything due to the flood. An appeal for funds has been launched by the Focolare Emergency Coordination Committee.

It is a climate emergency that has hit Emilia-Romagna and Marche, two regions of central-northern Italy in recent weeks. A catastrophe that has claimed 15 victims so far and displaced about 23,000 people. Several cities have been completely brought to their knees, submerged by water due to the many flooded rivers. There is extensive damage to homes, furniture and cars, as well as to businesses, farms and crops.

In Emilia-Romagna the most affected area so far has been that of Faenza which in one night ended up almost completely underwater due to the rupture of the banks of several rivers.

The communities of the Focolare Movement in the area told us, “Many families have been evacuated, for example, a family with three children was rescued when the water had already reached the first floor of their home. Despite having lost everything, the next day this same family, helped by the local Civil Protection Organization, opened their family run restaurant and prepared hot lunches for hundreds of evacuated people.”

A social worker from Faenza, a member of the Focolare, said: “A few nights ago, I was in the Town Hall, the headquarters of the Emergency Operations Center. It was a very emotional experience. If I think about it, I cry… I ask Jesus for the strength to do what is best for each person.”

In another town, Cesena, the Savio River flooded and the adjoining houses were engulfed. Wherever possible, and thanks to a lull in the rain, the first volunteers started working.

In the city of Cesenatico the situation is extremely difficult. The sea has invaded beaches, bathing establishments and streets. In the surroundings of Bologna, on the other hand, there are many small towns still flooded; the people have all been evacuated. A bridge has collapsed that has completely diverted the river bed inwards and the people are saying, “it will take time but help will certainly be necessary”.

Reports from these areas say, “The water is not being absorbed by the ground. It continues to rain and is like a wave, which depending on the levels of the ground, behaves in an unpredictable way”.

In the south of Romagna, between Ravenna and Rimini, the situation has also worsened in the towns of Russi and Lugo.

Other members of the Focolare Movement told us: “In the town of Bagnara di Romagna, we have had water 20 cms deep; the ground floors, garages and basements are full of water, but we’re fine.”

It’s a catastrophe that will have to be tackled but despite the enormous difficulties, many people fervently desire to take concrete action to rebuild.  One said, “The beauty is that one of the things to manage is the infinite offers of help we are receiving. Many people are offering homes and hospitality and we are setting up a team that will deal with the numerous requests and offers. The local Islamic Community, in contact with the Focolare Movement, has also expressed willingness to welcome or carry out joint actions.

The extraordinary fundraising appeal initiated by the Emergency Coordination of the Focolare Movement in support of the population of Emilia-Romagna and Marche, through the ONLUS Action for a United World (AMU) and Action for New Families (AFN) is ongoing. Contributions received will be jointly managed by AMU and AFN to initiate reconstruction actions.


You can donate online on the following sites:


or by transfer to the following current accounts:

Action for a United World ONLUS (AMU)
IBAN: IT 58 S 05018 03200 000011204344 at Banca Popolare Etica SWIFT/BIC

Action for New Families ONLUS (AFN)
IBAN: IT 92 J 05018 03200 000016978561 at Banca Popolare Etica SWIFT/BIC

ReasonEmilia-Romagna and Marche Emergency

Tax benefits are provided for such donations in many countries of the European Union and in other countries of the world, according to the different local regulations. Italian taxpayers will be able to obtain deductions and deductions from income, according to the legislation provided for the NGOs

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