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First group of Syrian refugees arrive in Uruguay

October 10, 2014 at 2:20 pm

A group of 42 Syrian refugees, the majority of them children, arrived in Uruguay yesterday as part of an unprecedented South American refugee-welcoming programme, according to presidential sources.

The programme will provide each refugee with two years’ worth of familial support. The source announced that the refugees had arrived on a plane belonging to a company that specialises in transporting refugees from one country to another.

The plane arrived at an airport near Montevideo. Joint police and military forces surrounded the airport in order to prevent journalists and members of the media from reaching the refugees as the Uruguayan President José Mujica welcomed them.

Sources said that the group of refugees consist of five families, one consisting of 14 members. The majority of refugees are children or teenagers of a young age, which is one of the requirements that the government insisted on when selecting the group.

They will spend two months in accommodation near the capital where they will learn Spanish and attend classes on local customs.

The adults are said to have been guaranteed jobs, while the children have places in schools lined up.

Uruguay, whose population is estimated to be around 3.3 million, is due to welcome 80 more refugees by February 2015.