In 2016, 452 refugees arrived in Belgium as a result of the resettlement programme. 448 of these refugees were Syrians and most came from Lebanon and Turkey (102 were selected due to the EU-Turkey agreement), although some were resettled from Jordan and Egypt. In addition to these, four Congolese refugees in Burundi were resettled in Belgium.
The priority is to give these vulnerable refugees the protection and the integration prospects they did not have in their first reception country. One of the priorities for 2016 was also the resettlement of refugees as part of the agreement between the European Union and Turkey. Among other things, this agreement stipulates that for each Syrian sent from the Greek islands to Turkey, another Syrian is resettled from Turkey to the European Union.
862 refugees in four years, more in 2017
Belgium has had a structural resettlement programme in place since 2013 and is committed to taking in a contingent of vulnerable refugees every year. 862 refugees have been resettled in Belgium since this date, including 664 Syrians.
The resettlement operations will continue in 2017. The selection of 550 Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan is planned or already underway. Other refugees will also be resettled as a result of the EU-Turkey agreement.
Belgian employees (CGRS and Fedasil) travel to the reception country on a regular basis to prepare the refugees for their arrival in Belgium. For the first time, these employees will be accompanied by medical staff who will perform a medical screening of the refugees before their departure.