09:13 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Canadian Minister of Immigration John McCallum, center, walks during his visit to a Syrian refugee camp.

    Canada Provides Permanent Housing to 98% of Syrian Refugees - Minister

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    The vast majority of the government-assisted Syrian refugees resettled in Canada have moved into permanent housing, Canadian Minister of Immigration John McCallum said on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Canadian government expects all government-sponsored Syrian refugees to be in permanent housing by mid-June, McCallum added.

    "Securing permanent housing for Syrian refugees remains a key priority. As of today, 98 percent of government-assisted Syrian refugees have moved into permanent housing," McCallum stated during a meeting of the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

    Moreover, the government has allocated more than $38.6 million ($30 million US dollars) in additional funding for 2016 and 2017 for resettlement services that help Syrian refugees integrate into Canadian society, McCallum explained.

    Discussing integration services, McCallum noted that about 1,500 Syrian refugees were enrolled in English or French language training programs, while 60 percent self-declared as speaking one of those two languages.

    At a United Nations conference in March, McCallum pledged to expand resettlement programs in Canada and assistant other countries in accommodating asylum-seekers from Syria.

    Canada has already exceeded its pledge to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees in 2016, and anticipates resettling about 8,500 more by 2017, according to the country’s Immigration Ministry.

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    housing, refugees, John McCallum, Canada
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