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Refugees welcomed to Adelaide.

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Refugees Welcomed to Adelaide

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Amanda Vanstone, today welcomed 21 newly arrived African refugees - including five families - who touched down in Adelaide to start a new life.

‘I am sure all South Australians would join me in welcoming these refugees to Adelaide and wishing them well for their new lives in Australia,’ the Minister said.

‘Some of these people have endured appalling conditions in refugee camps in Tanzania for more than four years. For many of the children, Adelaide will be home after only knowing life in a refugee camp.

‘All Australians can be very proud that we are able to provide the opportunity for a new life for some of the most vulnerable people in the world. The Australian Government is committed to providing protection to those that need it most.’

The refugees are among almost 700 who are arriving in Australia this month - the highest number of any month this financial year.

The 700 arriving this month are some of the 6000 refugees arriving this year under the Refugee and Humanitarian Program. The program provides 6000 refugee and 7000 humanitarian places each year, putting Australia in the top three countries (along with US and Canada) for providing permanent humanitarian resettlement.

The refugees being welcomed to Adelaide today fled to refugee camps in Tanzania from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were referred to Australia for resettlement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who we work with closely to determine which refugees are in greatest need of Australia’s protection.

‘They have been receiving intensive settlement support both at the Adelaide Migrant Resource Centre and at home since arriving in Adelaide this week, including help setting up a home, cultural orientation assistance and links to essential services such as Medicare,’ the Minister said.

‘They are being formally welcomed today - 48 hours after arrival - after having been given a chance to recover from their journey and ‘catch their breath,’ she added.

Members of this group will initially be settling across metropolitan Adelaide, in Salisbury, Clearview, Torrensville, Richmond and Oaklands Park.

About 200 refugees from the camps have been resettled in Adelaide in the last few years.

Apart from the group of 21, approximately 90 more refugees from Africa will be resettled in Adelaide this month and 700 across Australia.

16 February 2006