A group of 13 refugees from Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan leave Malta tomorrow to begin a new life in the United States.
Since the US Embassy began its permanent refugee resettlement programme in May 2008, over 250 refugees have been resettled inthe US.
The programme is a collaborative partnership among the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Office of Migration (IOM), the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and a number of local non-governmental organisations.
Charge d'Affairs Jason Davis said the refugee resettlement program showed America’s continuing commitment to help ease the burden that migration placed on Malta, as well as its recognition of the enormous challenges and dangers that many of the migrants faced.
“The programme’s success is a tribute to continued hard work on the part of UNHCR, IOM, and the US government, as well as many others here in Malta who have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of refugees in need of humanitarian assistance,” Mr Davis said.
He added that all refugees were assigned a sponsor agency in the US that provided initial services such as housing, food, and clothing, as well as referral to medical care, employment services, and other support services during the transition period to self-sufficiency. These services were provided to facilitate refugees with the process of integration and cultural assimilation.