IOM Assists Refugees to Relocate from Malta to France

Posted: 
07/05/10

Ninety-three refugees have been assisted by IOM to relocate from
Malta to France, where they will begin new lives.

The group consisting of 71 adults and 22 children from Somalia,
Sudan, Eritrea, Iraq and Liberia, accompanied by the French
Ambassador to Malta Daniel Ronda and by an IOM medical escort, were
welcomed in arrival in Paris Rosy Charles de Gaulle airport by
France's Minister of Immigration, Integration, National Identity
and Co-Development Eric Besson.

They will be relocated in towns across France as part of the
intra EU Relocation from Malta (EUREMA) pilot project, which aims
to relocate refugees from Malta to other EU Member
States. 

As part of the project, which is carried out in close
coordination with the Maltese and French authorities, UNHCR and
NGOs, IOM provided a 5-hour pre-departure orientation class to help
the refugees develop realistic expectations of their new lives in
France. IOM also assisted the refugees during boarding procedures,
at transit and upon arrival.   

All beneficiaries will now be sheltered in reception centres for
a maximum of six months, where they will be given housing support,
food and clothing, referral to medical care and treatment,
employment services and other forms of assistance during their
transition period to self-sufficiency.

The French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) will be
responsible in assisting the refugees with a one-year-long
integration programme, which will include language and cultural
orientation training.

The refugees had arrived in Malta by boat and had spent up to
five years living either in open centres or in private
accommodations.

This pilot relocation project is in response to the European
Pact on Immigration and Asylum agreed in October 2008. It
constitutes the largest intra-European resettlement operation with
IOM support so far.  

For further information, please contact:

Maurizio Busatti

IOM Paris

Tel: +33 1 40 44 06 91

E-mail: "mailto:mbusatti@iom.int">mbusatti@iom.int

or

Eleonora Servino

IOM Malta

Tel: +356 21374613

E-mail: "mailto:eservino@iom.int">eservino@iom.int