Slovakia Provides Temporary Shelter to 101 Palestinian Refugees

Posted: 
07/20/09

A group of 101 Palestinian refugees, who remained stranded for many
years in an overcrowded makeshift camp in the Iraqi desert, will
receive temporary shelter in Slovakia, following an agreement
between the Slovak Government, the UN High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) and IOM.

The Palestinian refugees will be housed in an asylum facility in
the eastern city of Humenne while their applications for
resettlement to third countries are processed.  IOM will
provide medical assessment and cultural orientation classes to
prepare them to meet the challenges and opportunities of daily life
in resettlement countries.

IOM and UNHCR will accompany the group from Al Waleed camp to
the Jordanian border, and then onwards to Amman's Marka airport,
where they will board an IOM-chartered flight for Kosice,
Slovakia.

Because of the inhuman conditions to which the refugees are
currently exposed in the Al Waleed camp, the Slovak Government sees
this humanitarian initiative as high priority.  This should
enable the transfer of the refugees to take place as soon as
possible, hopefully in the coming days," explains Zuzana Vatralova,
Head of the IOM Office in Slovakia.

There are an estimated 34,000 Palestinians in Iraq, of whom
23,000 have been registered by UNHCR in Baghdad.  The
Palestinian refugees came to Iraq in three main waves, in 1948, in
1967 and in 1991.  Over the past three years, many more
Palestinian families were forced to flee attacks and forced
evictions inside Iraq.

For more information, please contact:

Zuzana Vatralova

IOM Bratislava

Tel: +421 2 5263 1597

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