Buenos Aires – On 12 December, five Syrian families arrived in San Luis, Argentina, where these 18 persons – adults and children – will have the opportunity to rebuild their lives. This refugee resettlement was part of the Argentinian Government’s “Syria Programme”, which is implemented with assistance from IOM, the UN Migration Agency and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
So far, a total of 318 persons arrived in Argentina between 2014 and November 2017, nearly half of whom – 155 people – did so in 2017. This makes 2017, the year with the highest number of Syrian refugee resettlements in Argentina. The programme, developed in 2014, has recently gathered momentum. Last year at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants in New York, President Mauricio Macri announced that the country would receive 3,000 Syrians.
IOM and UNHCR have been a part of the programme implementation since mid-2017, particularly in identification, transportation and integration of the new arrivals in Argentina, as well as capacity building for Government institutions. These activities are framed in the Emerging Resettlement Countries Joint Support Mechanism (ERCM). This mechanism, led by both agencies, has been designed to offer technical and financial support to countries with an interest in setting up or strengthening resettlement programmes. IOM and UNHCR will continue to support the Syria Programme through the ERCM.
In the programme, the person or organization sponsoring Syrian refugees plays a fundamental role in the resettlement process. They commit to providing accommodation for the families coming from Syria and covering their living expenses for an initial 12 months. The aim is to support their integration into the local community and start to become self-sufficient within their first year in the country. The sponsors can either be private individuals, families, civil society organizations or even State agencies or entities, such as the Province of San Luis.
Thanks to solidarity shown by Argentine society, it is expected that in the coming months more Syrian families will be arriving in San Luis, as well as other parts of the country, such as Buenos Aires, Córdoba, La Rioja, Mendoza and Santiago del Estero.
For more information, please contact Débora Taicz, IOM Argentina, Tel: + 5411 4815 1035, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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