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In Malaysia but belonging nowhere

MANILA (UCAN): Amira’s face lit up with a smile when the word school was mentioned. “Do you want to take them? Do you know where I can send them?” she asked before adding, “no one wants them.”

Her two children, five-year-old Nasir and three-year-old Noori, were sitting with her on top of an orange plastic container by the waterfront in Kota Kinabalu in Sabah state, Malaysia.

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Uganda hosting floods of refugees from South Sudan

KAMPALA (SE): The African nation of Uganda has seen more refugees coming across its borders in the last four months than arrived in the European nation of Greece during the first 10 months of this year.

Its once sparsely populated northern grassland of Bidi Bidi has in a short space of time been transformed into what Caritas Uganda describes of the second largest refugee shelter in the world.

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Jordan sinking under its refugee burden

AMMAN (SE): Jordan is currently hosting over two million refugees, putting the Hashemite Kingdom in first place among hosts of refugees and displaced persons.

Fides reported on October 5 that it is followed by Turkey (2.5 million), Pakistan (1.6 million) and Lebanon (1.5 million).

Amnesty International says that half of the entire global mass of refugees worldwide is hosted by only 10 of the 193 countries that make up the entire list of nations.

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Vatican funds job-creation project for refugees in Jordan

VATICAN CITY (CNS): The Vatican is funding a job-creation programme for Iraqi refugees in Jordan, which is hosting close to 1.5 million refugees of whom but is struggling to provide work for them. Around 130,000 come from Iraq and 1.3 million from Syria.

With $1.16 million (US$150,000) donated by visitors to its pavilion at the World’s Fair in Milan in 2015, the Vatican will provide the funding that Caritas Jordan needs to launch the project.

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Cardinal hails u-turn in child refugee policy

MANCHESTER (CNS): Vincent Cardinal Nichols, from Westminster, the United Kingdom (UK), welcomed a U-turn by the British government over the resettlement of child refugees.

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An unseen generosity

I met Alamid while I was in Germany. He told me he was a refugee from Syria. Their house had been partly destroyed by barrel bombs dropped by the armies of Bashar al-Assad, the Russian-supported Syrian dictator.

Alamid, together with his family and an uncle, is among the hundreds of non-combatant families bombed out of home who has lost all of his possessions. They survive the bombs by taking shelter in basements.








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Root causes of people’s flight must be addressed

PORT MYTILENE (SE): Pope Francis fulfilled a long held ambition when he landed on the Greek island of Lesvos on the morning of April 16 to pay a 12-hour visit to the thousands of refugees who have sought shelter in trying conditions that are only lightened by the generosity of those who have welcomed them.

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Three refugee families return with pope

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis flew out of Port Mytilene with three refugee families that the Vatican will give hospitality and shelter to in Rome, Italy.

The Vatican Press Office reported, “The pope has desired to make a gesture of welcome regarding refugees, accompanying him on his plane to Rome three families of refugees from Syria, 12 people in all, including six children.”

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Refugees want peace so they can go home

SADAD (SE): Christian families that had fled from Syria to Europe to escape the violence of conflict are beginning to drift back, the mayor of Sadad in the province of Homs, Suleiman al-Khalil, told Russian media on April 6.

“Christians who had left Syria for Europe are beginning to return to Sadad and also to other cities,” Khalil said.

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Refugee sailing season just beginning

SITTWE (UCAN): The season has arrived for thousands of Muslim Rohingya from the divided Rakhine state in the Union of Myanmar to once again risk an ocean voyage to Malaysia, potentially reigniting southeast Asia’s biggest refugee crisis since the Vietnam War.

Plans are being hatched inside 10 desperately poor displacement camps outside the state capital, Sittwe, and there are reports that boats left South Maungdaw in northern Rakhine and Chittagong in Bangladesh in mid-October.

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