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Government to resettle Syrian refugees

Hon Michael Woodhouse
Minister of Immigration

4 February 2014

Government to resettle Syrian refugees

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has announced the government will resettle up to 100 refugees in need of urgent protection from the situation in Syria.

“The humanitarian situation in Syria is deteriorating by the day and the UNHCR has called on the international community for assistance,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“New Zealand has already provided $12.5 million to help those displaced by the conflict in Syria. This resettlement offer adds to this assistance and reflects the Government’s commitment to fulfilling its international humanitarian responsibilities.

“New Zealand’s annual refugee quota includes places reserved for emergency resettlement from large-scale crisis situations, if required, for exactly the type of situation we are seeing in Syria.”

Mr Woodhouse says that as the emergency places are included as part of the overall refugee quota, they have already been budgeted for and do not represent extra cost to the government.

Selected refugees will be interviewed and undergo full screening and security assessment before being accepted. They will enter a six-week reception programme at Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre before being resettled in the community.

Mr Woodhouse says the first Syrian refugees are expected to arrive in New Zealand during the second half of 2014.

ENDS

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