New refugees need better support

Refugees coming to New Zealand need better support than what they’re currently getting, the Green Party said today.

Refugees coming to New Zealand need better support than what they’re currently getting, the Green Party said today.

Radio New Zealand today reported that Refugees as Survivors, the agency that assesses refugees upon arrival, has not received any extra funding despite extra Syrian refugees arriving here later on this week. This comes after the Government refused to permanently increase the refugee quota and instead made a one-off increase. The Government did not increase the funding to support those arriving.

“The National Government has repeatedly refused to permanently increase refugee quota numbers. It also claims to be providing world-class resettlement, yet agencies are not getting the funding they need to help new refugees,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“It is hard enough moving to a new country where everything is different, but it is even harder after experiencing years of devastating civil war.

“A lot of the new refugees will arrive with war trauma and they need the mental health services to support them. We can’t just dump them here with no support.

“The Government needs to prioritise funding services for vulnerable refugees who are coming from devastating circumstances. The right thing to do would be to prioritise mental health services for refugees.

“On top of funding the support agencies to the level required, it would also be great if John Key greeted our newest New Zealanders personally when they get here, just like the Canadian Prime Minister did. It will really show what a welcoming place New Zealand is,” said Mr Shaw.

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