Canada and Anglican Church give 50 refugee families new hope

OTTAWA – The Government of
Canada and the Anglican Church today celebrated a joint agreement
under which approximately 50 refugee families have been brought to
this country from countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Iran.

“Canada has a long and proud tradition of providing a safe haven to
those around the world most in need of protection,” said Citizenship,
Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

“Volunteer groups such as the Anglican Church have played an integral
role in helping refugees come to and settle in Canada. I strongly
encourage groups to come together to sponsor refugees and help
provide a new secure beginning for victims of persecution from around
the world.”

The agreement has allowed approximately 150 refugees to be brought to
Canada by Anglican dioceses that hold sponsorship agreements with the
Government.

The families were selected by the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees and referred to Canada for resettlement. This
initiative, which was launched in April 2009, was part of the 50th
anniversary celebrations of the Primate’s World Relief and
Development Fund established by the Anglican Church. Former Governor
General Adrienne Clarkson was the patron of the project.

The fund is the Church’s agency for relief, development and
supporting refugees, and works with dioceses that sponsor refugee
families to come to Canada.

“The Refugees Project, featuring a theme of ‘In Faith, Join Hands,
Inspire Hope,’ was one of the most exciting initiatives associated
with the 50th anniversary of the Fund,” said Archbishop and Primate
Fred Hiltz.

“I thank all those who in faith joined hands to welcome the refugees
they sponsored and to support them in their settlement in Canada. I
pray that our ongoing commitment to accompany them will inspire hope
for their future.”

The refugee families came from a number of different areas around the
world: Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Colombia, Democratic Republic of
Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Somalia, Sri Lanka and
Sudan.

The Government of Canada is increasing by 20 percent the number of
refugees who are resettled from refugee camps and urban slums. The
number of refugees resettled through the Government-Assisted Refugees
Program will be increased over time by up to 500, and a further 2,000
resettlement places will be added to the Private Sponsorship of
Refugees Program.

Since 1978, private sponsors have collectively brought more than
200,000 refugees to Canada, over and above the refugees resettled
with government funding.

For more information on how to sponsor a refugee, please visit CIC’s
website.

For more information on the Primate’s World Relief and Development
Fund, please visit www.pwrdf.org.