Germany, Canada Host 50 White Helmets Rescuers, Their Families

Monday, 23 July, 2018 - 08:45
Berlin, Montreal (Canada)- Asharq Al Awsat

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas confirmed Berlin’s intention to take in the White Helmets rescuers from Syria. Citing Maas, the Bild newspaper then reported that the total number of the civil defense activists and their family members accepted by Germany could reach 50.

“The efforts of the White Helmets deserve admiration and respect,” he said. The minister noted that the group has saved more than 100,000 lives since the start of the Syrian conflict, knowing that many of the organization members are in danger because of the regime, he added.

Canada has offered to host up to 50 White Helmets and their families. With the addition of family members, that could bring the total to around 250 Syrians, reported CBC.

Canadian officials are expected to immediately begin working with United Nations officials to help process families that will make their way to Canada in the coming weeks, possibly months.

“Canada, working in close partnership with the United Kingdom and Germany, has been leading an international effort to ensure the safety of White Helmets and their families,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said.

‘‘Canada has been unequivocal about its support for the White Helmets. At a meeting of Foreign Ministers on the occasion of the NATO leaders’ summit in Brussels a week ago, I called for global leadership to support and help these heroes,” she added.

Freeland added, ‘‘Canada has been a key partner of the White Helmets and is proud to have provided funding to support their emergency training and to increase the number of women White Helmets. We feel a deep moral responsibility towards these brave and selfless people. Canada will continue to provide significant humanitarian assistance to the people affected by this conflict in Syria.’’

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