Lebanon - IOM has begun to provide medical screening and to conduct language and cultural orientation classes for a first group of about 100 Syrian refugees who will travel to Germany from Lebanon in mid-September 2013 for temporary stay.
The 100 are part of a group of 4,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees identified by UNHCR in Lebanon who will travel on IOM charter flights from Beirut to Hannover in about the next year. For another 1,000 refugees, the scheme will especially focus on their family ties to Germany.
The refugees will be admitted under the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)’s Humanitarian Admissions Programme (HAP). The programme is designed to facilitate the swift entry of vulnerable refugees from Lebanon to Germany to secure their immediate protection until such time as they are able to return home in safety and dignity or find other durable solutions.
In 2012, about 15,800 Syrians applied for asylum in Germany.
IOM medical escorts will travel with the flight to help refugees with special needs.
“By transferring some of the most vulnerable refugees from Lebanon to Germany, the HAP will provide improved protection and make a major contribution to on-going humanitarian efforts aimed at alleviating the effects of mass displacement on Syria’s neighbours, which are hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees,” said Rana Jaber, Regional Emergency and Post Crises Specialist.
Some 718,000 refugees and other displaced people have fled to Lebanon from Syria to escape the fighting over the past two years. While Lebanon continues to maintain an open border policy, growing humanitarian needs are now placing intense pressure on Lebanese infrastructure and risk destabilizing host communities.
“My son is 22 years old and he has been handicapped since birth, he has limited mobility and he is unable to feed himself. When we escaped from Al Hassakeh last year, we were unable to load his wheelchair onto the bus. I have carried him in my arms since we arrived in Lebanon. I hope that when I reach Germany I will be able to find a job so I can buy him a new wheelchair so that he may once again have some independence,” said Adham, a father of six children, accepted for resettlement in Germany.
After arriving in Hannover, the refugees will travel to a reception centre in Friedland for the first weeks, where they will participate in an extended cultural orientation program before being distributed in various parts of Germany. In Germany they will receive comprehensive support including rental assistance and access to medical and social services.
For most refugees, their primary concern is getting an education for their children, many of whom have not attended school in over two years. Government and community support will also be important to create conditions that ensure their integration into German society during their stay.
IOM’s operation is in close cooperation with UNHCR and German and Lebanese government counterparts.
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