Canada welcomes over 200 Afghan refugees to Vancouver

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A group of over 200 Afghan refugees landed in Vancouver on Tuesday night, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said.

Sean Fraser, the Minister of Immigratio, Refugees, and Citizenship, said “Now more than ever, we are committed to welcoming vulnerable Afghan refugees in communities across the country. I am proud to welcome over 200 Afghan refugees to Vancouver, and heartened by the dedication and collaboration I witnessed as we help them settle into their new home. This milestone is one of many more to come in the months ahead, and I’m filled with joy to see how Canadians from coast to coast to coast have opened their hearts and homes to their new Afghan neighbours.”

The new arrivals were greeted at the Vancouver International Airport by Community Airport Newcomers Network, a RAP SPO program provided by S.U.C.C.E.S.S, a non-profit organization. This program provides winter clothing, arranges transportation and offers initial orientation to newcomers and their families, IRCC said in a statement.

The statement further added over the next few weeks, these refugees will receive support from the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISSofBC), a RAP SPO whose work is essential to helping refugees adjust to life in Canada. ISSofBC helps refugees find housing and provides information about finding a job, improving their language skills and living in Canada.

In November 2021, the BC government announced the Refugee Readiness Fund, a $2 million fund to help boost local services and supports for families resettling in BC due to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. The fund will ensure that communities in the province are ready to welcome and respond to the needs of Afghan refugees.

Since Afghan refugees first started arriving in Canada in August 2021, IRCC has been helping them connect with communities where settlement supports are already in place, giving consideration to whether they have family members in Canada, as well as the availability of schools, housing and language training.

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