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Minister marks World Refugee Day 2014

Hon Michael Woodhouse

Minister of Immigration
20 June 2014 Media Statement
Minister marks World Refugee Day 2014

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has marked World Refugee Day and paid tribute to the agencies and individuals that work all year round to help support the resettlement of refugees.

“World Refugee Day reminds us of our shared responsibility to act to address the terrible suffering of 33 million people now displaced worldwide,” says Mr Woodhouse.

“It’s fitting to acknowledge the New Zealand Red Cross, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and others who work alongside the government to resettle refugees in need of international protection.

“Our annual refugee quota of 750 refugees continues to reflect the Government’s commitment to fulfilling its international humanitarian obligations and responsibilities to provide protection to refugees.”

Government spends around $58 million on resettling refugees annually, and has committed to upgrade buildings and strengthen services at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre, where refugees spend their first six weeks in New Zealand.

“We also recognise that for refugees to succeed in New Zealand they need support in the community following the completion of the reception programme at Mangere.

“Last month, I was pleased to announce an extra $5.6 million over the next four years to help new refugees during their first 12 months in New Zealand.”

The money will pay for support initiatives, such as a subsidised learn-to-drive programme for working-age refugees to help them get into work.

“This is an innovative way of helping to increase the number of refugees in paid employment. It also supports the whole-of-government Refugee Resettlement Strategy designed to deliver better outcomes for refugees settling in New Zealand,” says Mr Woodhouse.

World Refugee Day is marked in more than 100 countries. For more information visit:www.worldrefugeeday.org.nz

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