Presence of refugees in Gozo much more prominent – Minister
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The increase in the number of refugees arriving in Gozo was discussed during a visit by representatives from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to the Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana.
In a statement, the Minister said that “it is a fact that in recent months the presence of refugees in Gozo has become much more prominent.”
She also stressed that, “this means there is a need for structures and collaboration with both national and international bodies to facilitate the integration of refugees in Gozo.”
Dr Caruana argued that there are major challenges related to prejudices and exclusion, and therefore work must be done to overcome a context, “where no one feel excluded and everyone feels comfortable in the local community.”
“With this in mind, the service should be comprehensive, aimed and focused at addressing the immediate needs of refugees living in Gozo.” She also added that a guidance service would allow for easier planning.
The Minister thanked the Church and other entities that offer their services in aid of refugees and appealed to the representatives of the UNHCR to increase the directness and frequency of contact in relation to the realities of Gozo in this regard.
Photograph: MGOZ/George Scerri