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Today’s announcement that New Zealand’s refugee quota will be raised to 1500 has been welcomed by New Zealand Red Cross.
The decision will improve humanitarian protection and it’s pleasing to see that there is a plan for the increase in place.
“There are more than 68 million displaced people globally and 1.4 million of those people are in urgent need of resettlement,” says Rachel O’Connor, General Manager Migration at New Zealand Red Cross.
“Behind each of these numbers is a person in need of protection and we believe there is capacity in the community now to meet their resettlement needs.”
New Zealand Red Cross stands ready to support any quota increase and will work closely with Government and communities to establish new settlement locations as needed.
“We’re confident that we can support this increase and work closely with communities to meet settlement needs to maintain the high quality support New Zealand is known for. Settlement is both life saving for those who are new Kiwis and enriching for the host community,” says Ms O’Connor.
“What we’ve seen in the new settlement locations of Otago, Southland, and now Christchurch is that communities across New Zealand are keen to support refugee resettlement in their cities. We’ve been approached by people wanting to become Refugee Support Volunteers from Northland to Southland and we can’t wait to work with new volunteers across Aotearoa to provide a warm welcome to our new Kiwis.”
New Zealand Red Cross currently has more than 1,000 Refugee Support Volunteers across the country who form the welcoming committee for refugees arriving in New Zealand. They are responsible for providing practical settlement assistance and helping them integration to the local community.
“We urge anyone interested in supporting refugee resettlement in their community to get in touch with their local Red Cross Service Centre to find out how they can help,” says Ms O’Connor.