Canada, IOM complete resettlement of 25,000 Syrian refugees
March 1, Jordan: On April 29, the last charter flight carrying Syrian refugees left Jordan for Canada, fulfilling a promise made by the Canadian government late last year to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees from the region.
Over the past three months, IOM has worked closely with the relevant governments, UNHCR and other implementing partners to register, process and move refugees from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
IOM, which normally resettles around 30,000 refugees a year from the Middle East and North Africa to countries around the world, quickly deployed logistics and operational staff from around the globe to complete the humanitarian operation on time.
Mohammed (name changed), an IOM Damascus staffer who volunteered for the project in Jordan, described his feelings. “At the outset, I felt sad because these are my people. When the first family entered the (Amman resettlement processing) centre, there were a thousand things going through my mind. But then you start to work, you forget, because things need to get done fast in order for people to reach safety,” he said.
As the project winds down, IOM surge staff will return to their original missions. Canada will continue to process Syrian refugee cases through its diplomatic missions, with the support of IOM missions in the respective countries.
“Resettling 25,000 refugees to Canada requires significant coordination and support and we would like to thank the IOM for their invaluable contributions,” said Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship John McCallum.
The Oslo Times