Berlin will take in 500 Syrian, Iraqi refugees from Lebanon

Berlin says it will take in 500 Syrian and Iraqi refugees from Lebanon
2 min read
29 July, 2021
The programme will take place outside of the known asylum process, which means that those who are selected will not have to apply separately for asylum in Germany.
The first arrivals from Lebanon are expected to take place this year [Getty]

Berlin's Senate has announced that it intends to accept 500 refugees, mainly Syrians and Iraqis who have fled war to Lebanon, over a five-year period with the first arrivals expected this year.

The Senate issued a "state reception decree Lebanon", following coordination between federal and state authorities, along with the federal interior ministry.

Berlin’s Interior Senator Andreas Geisel said the main focus of the scheme will be families with children of Syrian and Iraqi citizenship residing in Lebanon.

The programme will take place outside of the known asylum process, which means that those who are selected will not have to apply separately for asylum in Germany.

The selection process will be conducted by the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR using its Refugee Status Determination rules.

Until recently, Germany participated in an EU agreement to relocate thousands of vulnerable asylum seekers, including 1,600 unaccompanied minors and their relatives, from Greek islands.

Between April 2020 and April 2021, more than a dozen flights brought 2,765 people in need of protection from Greece to Germany, where the arrivals were distributed among the states. The last of the relocation flights, coordinated by the federal government, landed on 22 April.

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Germany has a spotted past when it comes to taking in refugees.

Earlier this year the European country received criticism over its decision to deport 26 Afghan refugees, and rights groups at the time warned they face risks to their lives from the coronavirus pandemic and a resurgence in violence in Afghanistan.

Twenty-six Afghan asylum seekers boarded a chartered plane from Dusseldorf to Kabul In January after Germany ended a moratorium on deportations, put in place due to the coronavirus.