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Brazil - Resettlement of Afghan Refugees

Briefing notes

Brazil - Resettlement of Afghan Refugees

30 November 2001

Brazil's National Refugee Committee has approved the resettlement of 45 Afghan refugees, the first refugees to be resettled under a 1999 agreement between the Federal Republic of Brazil and UNHCR. The move will make Brazil the second country in Latin America, after Chile, to begin a refugee resettlement programme. UNHCR welcomes this important step taken by a Latin American country in support of international cooperation and solidarity on behalf of refugees.

The Afghan refugees will be arriving from India and Iran and will be resettled in Porto Alegre and Mogi das Cruzes, two cities in southern Brazil. The refugees are expected to arrive during the first few months of 2002, and will be assisted in their integration into Brazilian society by NGOs working under a tripartite agreement with UNHCR and the Brazilian government.

For a small percentage of refugees around the world who cannot return home and cannot safely remain in the first country to host them, resettlement to a third country is sometimes the only solution available to protect them. Brazil´s decision makes it the 17th country to accept refugees for resettlement.

Brazil currently hosts some 2,770 refugees from 50 different countries, including over 1,600 from Angola.