by Tony Iozzo
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe
GENEVA – The United Nations announced on Tuesday that over 100 Syrian refugees were being relocated to Germany this week, in the first step of a plan to relocate nearly 12,000 Syrians this year.
107 Syrians will be the first among a group of 5,000 Syrians to be relocated to Germany by the end of this year in what the U.N. is deeming a temporary humanitarian admissions program, according to Melissa Fleming, the spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
This first wave of refugees being relocated to Germany are identified as particularly vulnerable, and includes “women and girls at risk, people with serious medical conditions, survivors of torture or others with special needs,” according to Fleming.
“This is a lifesaving tool for most of them,” Fleming stated.
Neighboring countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon have taken in most of the Syrian refugees so far, as 2 million Syrians have fled. The refugees are faced with makeshift conditions in these countries, however, and the U.N. is calling on additional western countries to contribute.
The U.N. has only managed to find homes for roughly 7,000 refugees in twelve western countries in the current plan, despite the goal of reaching 12,000. Other countries that have agreed to accept Syrian refugees include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Under this program, Germany’s relocation plan is currently the largest. The country has announced that it will extend two-year residence permits which allow the Syrian refugees to work, and the permits could potentially be lengthened if the Syrian conflict remains unsettled.
This first group of 107 Syrians are departing from Lebanon on Wednesday, and will travel to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees where they will be greeted before being transported to an accommodation center for two weeks. At the center, the Syrians will receive basic language training, and receive an orientation on the schooling and healthcare system of Germany. After the two-week orientation, the Syrians will finally depart to their temporary homes across Germany.
For more information, please see:
Fox News – Syrian Refugees Temporarily Resettling in Germany Under Biggest Relocation Program – 10 September 2013
New York Times – Germany to Accept Syrian Refugees – 10 September 2013
World Bulletin – Germany to be Temporary Home of 107 More Syrians – 10 September 2013
Deutsche Welle – Syrian Refugees Heading for Germany – 9 September 2013