Further 20 refugees arrive in Latvia

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Twenty Syrians, including ten children, were relocated to Latvia from Greece yesterday as part of the European Union's relocation program, the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs told LETA on April 20.

The five families from Syria have been placed in the refugee center in Mucenieki.

According to their asylum applications, the people who arrived in Latvia on April 19 speak Arabic, English and Kurmanji. There is a pharmacist, nurse, metalworker, chef, and a salesperson among them.

In total, 300 people have been relocated to Latvia under the EU relocation program so far. Latvia has taken in more than half of what it committed to take in.

In 2015 Latvia committed to taking in 531 asylum seekers in two years. While most of them will be relocated from EU member states Greece and Italy, 50 people have to be resettled from third countries, such as Turkey.

By March, ten of the admitted asylum seekers have been granted refugee status and 151 people had been given alternative protection status that is valid for a year but can be renewed annually.

However, most of those people have left Latvia by now, moving on to more prosperous EU member states.

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