First group of Syrian refugees heads for Germany

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A Syrian girl in a makeshift Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon. [UNHCR photo]

A group of 107 highly vulnerable Syrian refugees will leave Lebanon this Wednesday for temporary relocation in Germany, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reports.

The new arrivals will be the first Syrian refugees to enter Germany under the country's temporary Humanitarian Assistance Programme which provides for up to 5,000 places for Syrian refugees.

UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told journalists in Geneva on Tuesday that the refugees will receive two weeks of integration courses before heading to locations across Germany.

"The neighbouring countries of Syria have collectively taken in two million refugees. Their economies, their societies, their infrastructures are under extreme strain. We've visited and we've witnessed towns and villages that have more Syrian refugees than local residents, so therefore this programme that Germany has offered is setting an important example, and we hope that more countries in Europe and also around the world will come forward with similar schemes."

The Syrian refugees will receive accommodation in Germany. They also will have full access to medical, educational and other social services, as well as the right to work.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

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