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Belgium Welcomes 150 Syrian Refugees for Humanitarian Reasons

Belgium Welcomes 150 Syrian Refugees for Humanitarian Reasons

Thursday, 23 November, 2017 - 08:15
At a rally in Brussels on Feb. 27, 2016, people call for changes to the European refugee policy. Photo: Reuters/Yves Herman

The Belgian government has agreed with various religious leaders to receive 150 Syrian refugees from Lebanon and Turkey on humanitarian grounds.


Jan De Volder, the coordinator of this initiative, and a member of a Christian community movement in Brussels, said that the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken, would sign a “statement of intent” for this purpose.


The project, which is called “humanitarian corridors”, aims to welcome 150 people of Syrian nationality, who will arrive in Belgium from Turkey and Lebanon, with a humanitarian visa.


De Volder said the candidates would be “checked in advance so that the authorities know the profile of the individuals who are coming to Belgium.”


In a statement to local media on Wednesday, he said around 150 refugees, of different religions, mostly families with children as well as elderly or people suffering from health conditions, would benefit from this project.


Francken, for his part, said he was happy with the ideological diversity that characterizes this work, which is overseen by various religious organizations.


He added that his country would receive 150 Syrians and 1,150 others in the framework of Belgium’s share in a European plan for the resettlement of Syrian refugees in 2018.

He concluded that Islamic, Christian and Jewish associations had showed support to the Syrian migrants and provided aid and volunteers for a complete year to help welcome the new refugees.

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