(see related) Rome, July 8 - By speaking in support of immigrants and acknowledging the great dangers and suffering many face, Pope Francis has raised the profile of a significant issue, the head of UNICEF in Italy said Monday. "The visit of Pope Francis today to Lampedusa has given voice at the global level" to the crisis in immigration today, said Andrea Iacomini. He spoke after the pope visited Lampedusa, a southern Italian island to which migrants flock in boats, often risking their lives, as steppingstone from the north African coast to Italy and Europe. UNICEF has sounded an alarm on the waves of people forced by war and economic hardship to flee their homes, and the pope has repeated that message forcefully, Iacomini added in a statement. "The message of the holy father has pierced the veil of hypocrisy".