Brazil Offers a House to Palestinian Refugees from Iraq

Palestinian refugee in Iraq The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)  welcomed an offer by Brazil to resettle an estimated 100 Palestinians formerly living in Iraq starting in mid-September. Apart from Canada and New Zealand, in recent years Brazil has been the only country to offer resettlement to Palestinian refugees from Iraq, according to UNHCR.

The agency is "grateful for a generous offer by the Government of Brazil" to help roughly 22 Palestinian families settle in southeastern state of São Paulo and 18 families in Rio Grande do Sul, a state in the south of the country, spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told a press briefing in Geneva.

Since 2003, most of the Palestinian refugees have been living 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the Iraq border in Ruwayshed, Jordan. "There, they have faced extremely harsh conditions in a dusty and scorpion-infested desert camp with nowhere to go," Ms. Pagonis said.

More than 1,450 Palestinians from Iraq remain stranded along the Iraq-Syria border in "deplorable conditions," with another estimated 13,000 Palestinians affected by violence and harassment in Iraq, she noted.

As part of the resettlement, Brazil is also focusing on successfully integrating the Palestinians into Brazilian society. Prior to departing, each group of roughly 30 people will be extensively briefed, culturally sensitized and given Portuguese languages lessons by Brazilian UNCHR staff presently working in Jordan that will continue for up to 12 months upon arrival in Brazil.

Bilingual (Arabic-Portuguese) UNHCR staff in Brazil will be trained in Palestinian cultures and traditions to facilitate the process.

All of the refugees will receive accommodations, furniture and material assistance for up to 24 months, with unaccompanied elderly refugees being settled in homes where medical treatment will be provided, according to UNHCR.

Last week, the agency appealed for the medical evacuation of at least 12 Palestinians – mostly young children – with serious medical problems from the Iraqi-Syria border and from Baghdad.

Now, Ms. Pagonis reports that two European countries have provided "positive indications" in response, and voiced hope "that they will speed up their decision in order to save their lives before it is too late.

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  • Show Comments (2)

  • João da Silva

    To:Forrest
    [quote]what is rong with them going back to
    PLAESTINE [/quote]

    Admiral, there is no country that is called Palestine anymore. The Iraqis of Palestine origin can not go back to West Bank or Jordan either.Nobody wants them nor the refugees from Iraq that want to flee the violence there. I guess there is no harm in letting 22 families to settle in Brazil on humanitarian grounds. Besides, with or without them,Brazil will continue exporting and keep on jacking up the prices for domestic consumers.I think that is a fine gesture on the part of our government and I support their decision.

  • forest Brown

    point of order
    what is rong with them going back to
    PLAESTINE
    and let brasil spend the money on taking care of there own

    as i see it it is a poly by the goverment of brasil to curry friendship in the middle east to peddle more export goods
    and jack up the prices at home on there own people

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