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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Canadians Set to Sponsor Iraqi Palestinian Refugees

Canadians Set to Sponsor Palestinian Refugees
The refugees who have been denied asylum and rights in Iraq are extremely vulnerable and in poorly situated camps. Mennonite church are helping with sponsorship.
by Gladys Terichow

Some of the 336 Palestinian refugees stranded in an isolated refugee camp on the Iraq-Syria border will soon have new homes in Canada.

Gloria Nafziger (centre) visits the Al Tanf refugee camp, one of three make-shift refugee camps along the border between Syria and Iraq for Palestinians from Iraq.

Through its private sponsorship program the Canadian government is making it possible for churches and other private sponsors to sponsor some of the residents living in the Al Hol refugee camp, one of three make-shift refugee camps along the border between Syria and Iraq, said Gloria Nafziger of Amnesty International-Canada.

Nafziger represented the Canadian Council for Refugees on a visit to the three camps in November 2008 and highlighted the need for immediate action during a speaking tour hosted by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) refugee programs in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Colombia.

About ten Mennonite churches in Canada have expressed interest in sponsoring families from the Al Hol camp, said Ed Wiebe, national coordinator for MCC’s refugee programs. He anticipates Mennonite churches will sponsor more than 50 individuals.

About 3,000 Palestinian refugees are trapped in the border camps, said Nafziger during her Manitoba visit. They fled killings, kidnappings, torture and death threats in Iraq, but unlike other Iraqi refugees they do not have Iraqi citizenship and are not allowed to enter Syria to seek asylum.

Read further>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Also, watch THIS VIDEO from Journeyman Pictures on the conditions of the Palestinians who have fled to refugee camps in Iraq since the US invasion.

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