An aeroplane with 44 Afghan refugees who fled into Iran landed at Košice airport on Thursday, April 19 and it is the second group of Afghan mothers and children that Slovakia has offered international protection based on an agreement concluded between the Slovak government, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for refugees in need of international protection, the SITA newswire reported.
The group consists of 26 women and 18 children. The oldest woman is 66 years old and the youngest is a seven-year old girl. Some families only brought with them large packages with warm blankets and mattresses, which suggests how difficult their lives had been, SITA wrote.
After an initial check, the refugees were taken by bus to a refugee facility of the Interior Ministry’s Migration Office in Humenné where they will spend the following six months, after which they would be resettled to the United States, according to SITA.
The Migration Office will provide comprehensive services to these people and take care of their accommodation, food, and basic toiletries. Financial costs of their stay are partially covered from the European Refugee Fund; social care and health care is provided and paid by UNHCR; and the transfer, and the entry and departure medical examinations are provided for by IOM.
Slovakia began to take part in the refugee resettlement process in August 2009, when it welcomed 98 refugees from Palestine. In May 2011, it granted international protection to 24 mothers with 22 children from Afghanistan; in December 2011 it received 40 refugees from Somalia and in January of this year 35 refugees from Egypt.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.