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NEWS | Wednesday, 25 March 2009

More refugees resettled to the USA

A group of 35 from Sudan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea left Malta yesterday to commence a new life in the United States.
This latest departure brings the total number of refugees resettled in the US since May 2008 to 223.
The programme is a collaborative partnership among the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Office of Migration (IOM), the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and a number of local non-governmental organisations.
So far the UNHCR has referred asylum seekers to the resettlement program who were given temporary humanitarian protection. UNHCR is continuing the screening process, and has so far referred more than 300 cases that are now in the process of being resettled to the US
Jason Davis, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy said the continuation of the refugee resettlement programme showed America’s continuing commitment to help ease the burden that migration has placed on Malta, enabling Malta to cope more effectively with those that remain, and that it demonstrates our recognition of the enormous challenges and dangers that many of the migrants have faced.
“This occasion marks the culmination of months of hard work on the part of UNHCR, IOM, and the United States government, as well as many others here in Malta who have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of hundreds of refugees in need of humanitarian assistance,” Davis said.
“I would like to extend congratulations to everyone who has made it possible for these refugees to begin the next chapter of their lives in the United States...and I look forward to announcing soon that the next group of refugees is ready to depart for the US.”
Davis added that all refugees are assigned a sponsor agency that provides initial services such as housing, food, and clothing, as well as referral to medical care, employment services, and other support during a transition period lasting up to two years in order to ensure integration and assimilation.


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