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Brazilian Government Wants to Take Up to 20,000 Syrian Refugees Per Year

05/11/2016 - 09h32

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PATRÍCIA CAMPOS MELLO
FROM SÃO PAULO

The Brazilian government is negotiating providing refuge to Syrians living in camps in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan with the European Union and other international organizations.

According to the justice minister, Eugênio Aragão, while numbers have yet to be discussed, "it would be possible for Brazil to take up to 100,000 Syrians, in groups of 20,000 per year."

"The number we can take will depend on the financial assistance we receive from the international community," said Aragão.

"We're not talking about assistance on a scale similar to that offered by the EU to Turkey, but something far more modest." The EU has promised Turkey US$6 billion by 2018 in exchange for policies restricting the flow of refugees.

Aragão conceded that there are doubts over the viability of the plans to take in more Syrians. "We've had an extremely complicated year, which has been aggravated by the political crisis," he said.

According to a report published on Tuesday (10) by the National Committee for Refugees (CONARE), requests for asylum in Brazil went from 966 in 2010 to 28,670 in 2015, an increase of 2868%.

The number of refugees recognized by the government rose from 3904 in 2010 to 8863 in April this year, an increase of 127%.

The report shows that Syrians are the largest refugee community in Brazil, with 2298 members. In second place are the Angolans (1420), followed by the Colombians (1100), Congolese (968) and Palestinians (376).

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

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