Canada May Fast-track Immigration Applications From Turkey, Syria

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Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has shared that Canada may fast-track immigration applications from people in Turkey and Syria following the devastating earthquakes. The two countries are struggling to recover from the massive scale of damages and loss of lives. Many countries have shown support for Turkey and Syria through donations and sending over resources.

Sean Fraser said that his department is trying to see what more can be done to help applicants already in Canada’s immigration system. This may help people already in the immigration system to get a quicker response on their application or an update on where they stand. This would in turn allow people struggling in Turkey and Syria, especially after the devastating earthquakes, to leave their countries sooner.

Earlier this week, two major earthquakes rocked southwestern Turkey and northwestern Syria and destroyed thousands of buildings. The death toll has crossed 19,000 in total from the two countries and at least 64,000 people have been injured. The two countries are still trying to rescue people stuck under debris.

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Canada sent over a disaster assessment team to the region to find out how the country can help. The federal government announced today, February 9, that it would match up to $10 million in donations to the Canadian Red Cross for relief efforts in disaster-stricken Turkey and Syria.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) said that a convoy made up of six trucks carrying shelter items and Non-Food Items (NFI) made it through the Bab Al Hawa crossing and delivered into the affected region. “The UN cross-border aid operation has been reinstated today. We are relieved that we are able to reach the people in northwest Syria in this pressing time. We hope that this operation continues as this is a humanitarian lifeline and the only scalable channel,” said Sanjana Quazi, head of OCHA Turkey.

Vineet Washington

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