Georgia this weekend could receive its first Syrian refugees since the civil war began in their native country more than three years ago.
The International Rescue Committee in Atlanta is expecting a Syrian family of five and a single Syrian male to arrive here this weekend. Consisting of two parents and three young children, the family fled Syria in 2012 and is coming to the U.S. from Jordan. The single adult is a former chef traveling from Thailand. He fled Syria in 2011.
J.D. McCrary, the refugee aid group’s executive director, said to his knowledge they will be the first refugees from Syria to arrive in Georgia since the start of the uprising in 2011. McCrary’s group will aim to help them resettle in the Atlanta area.
More than 162,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain. Millions of others have been displaced by the war, a United Nations report shows.
McCrary’s organization has been calling on the federal government to welcome 12,000 Syrian refugees this year, plus 3,000 more next year. Only about 100 had been resettled in the U.S. as of February, and none of them ended up in Georgia.
“The IRC is committed to serving the world’s populations that need the most help,” McCrary said. “And, certainly, the situation in Syria has proven to be one of the most horrific humanitarian disasters in modern history.”
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