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IOM Welcomes First US Bound Refugees Resettled in FY 2020

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IOM staff welcomed the first refugees resettled in the US for fiscal year 2020 on Tuesday (05/11) at Washington Dulles International Airport. © IOM/Omar Rachibi

Washington DC – More than 600 refugees landed in the United States this week, marking the first arrivals of US fiscal year 2020. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) welcomed the refugees who come from a variety of countries.

“Resettlement can be one of the only solutions for the most vulnerable populations in search of protection,” said Michel Tonneau, IOM Global Programme Coordinator for the United States Refugee Admissions Program. “We are pleased to continue collaboration with partners to ensure that refugees are treated with dignity and can be safely resettled to the US.”

IOM works closely with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration to provide case processing support, pre-departure health assessments and cultural orientation, as well as transportation support for refugees.

A group of 25 Congolese refugees were the first to arrive on Tuesday morning at Washington Dulles International Airport before continuing to their final destinations. Due to ongoing violence, the families fled to neighbouring Rwanda where they remained in limbo for years.

Almost half of the refugees resettled in the US in fiscal year 2019 were from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Several others arriving this week are also Congolese.

Their resettlement journeys resemble the story told in One Way Ticket, a feature film co-produced by IOM that follows two Congolese refugees travelling to their new homes in the US. As part of the Global Migration Film Festival, IOM will host screenings of this film in numerous countries from 28 November to 18 December.

“Films have the power to show audiences the different needs and perspectives of migrants and refugees,” said Amanda Nero, the festival’s director. “I hope this film sparks discussions around the long-lasting effects of forced migration and the challenges of resettlement.”

For more information, please contact Liz Lizama at IOM Washington, Tel: +1 202 716 8820, Email: