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Home NATIONALMunicipalities show interest to accommodate Syrian refugees
Tue, 11 Mar, 2014 12:04:16 AM
FTimes-STT Report, March 11
File picture of A Syrian refugee family from Aleppo stay under a shelter during a rainy day on March 8, 2014, in the Uskudar district of Istanbul. More than 140,000 people have been killed in Syria's brutal war since March 2011, and millions more have fled their homes. Photo - AFP / Lehtikuva.
The municipalities in the country that had been earlier reluctant to accommodate refugees, have now shown interest to take more refugees from Syria, sources in the Ministry of Employment and the Economy said.
Four municipalities have decided to increase the number of quota refugees and 20 more municipalities will receive refugees after a few years of hiatus.
Seven municipalities that have never received refugees are among the 20 municipalities that are to become home of the new arrivals.
These municipalities have shown interest to take in refugees especially from Syria.
File picture of Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen received a petition from Red Cross Secretary General Kristiina Kumpula on March 7, 2014 regarding increase the quota of refugees in Finland. Photo – Lehtikuva.
In practice, all the 500 refugees coming from Syria to Finland have already received information of the respective municipalities that will receive them.
Others in the quota refugee groups include Afghans, Sudanese and Congolese, according to information of the ministry's survey of Ely Centres (Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment).
Earlier, on September 20, 2013, the Finnish government decided to accept 500 Syrian refugees in 2014, following the increase of the refugee quota for this year by 300 persons.
In addition, the Ministry of the Interior decided that 200 places of the standard quota of 750 would be allocated to Syrian refugees as a part of Finland’s participation in the international community in alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
The Syrian refugees will be accepted in accordance with the standard quota procedure together with the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR. Because of the extensive refugee crisis in Syria, UNHCR has appealed on several occasions for states to offer help in the refugee crisis, in addition to providing humanitarian aid. 
A picture taken on August 28, 2013, shows Janda Hussein, a 29-year-old woman from Damascus carrying her two-year-old daughter at Bulgaria's shelter. Photo AFP-Lehtikuva.
Faced by the overwhelming scale of the crisis, the UNHCR expressed hopes that states could take exceptional measures going beyond their normal measures to help refugees.
The conflict in Syria that began nearly two and a half years ago has claimed the lives of approximately 100,000 people.
According to the UNCHR, more than two million people have fled Syria, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA estimates that the number of internally displaced persons is more than four million.
With the crisis continuing, the number of refugees is expected to increase further.
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