Minister McCallum visits Jordan for a second time since launch of #WelcomeRefugees initiative

News Release

December 20, 2015 – Ottawa, ON – After a successful trip to Lebanon, the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, continued on to Jordan for a two day follow-up visit. This is the second trip to Amman for the Minister since the November 2015 announcement of the #WelcomeRefugees initiative.

Minister McCallum had the opportunity to see how operations have progressed since the opening of the Canadian Operations Centre (COC) in Amman that took place during his last visit. While at the COC, he met with prospective Syrian refugees for resettlement and walked through the interview process.

Various partner organizations are playing a significant role in helping Canada with this initiative on the ground in Jordan. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) took the Minister on a tour of their medical facility which is being used to complete Immigration Medical Exams; the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) briefed the Minister on their operations at the Khalda facility and gave him a tour of the call centre and registration, biometrics and waiting areas; and finally, UNICEF welcomed the Minister at their youth project in South Marka where he spoke with youth about their concerns and hopes for the future.

The Minister also met and had lunch with refugee families who will be resettling in Canada in the coming days and weeks. This was followed by an airport visit to send off the first Canadian sponsored flight of Syrian refugees out of Jordan. The flight is set to arrive in Toronto on the evening of December 20th.

Since the conflict in Syria, Jordan has accepted hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. Canada has provided support for a number of projects in the region to help with the influx of refugees to the area where local resources have been stretched thin. In addition to meeting with the Jordanian Minister of Interior and the Minister of Planning and International Development, Minister McCallum met with the Syrian Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs and other local officials for a tour of the Al-Akeidr landfill site, where a landfill cell is being constructed with Canadian support.

In a unique part of his trip, Minister McCallum was hosted by the mayor of New Hosha, elected councillors and members of the community and had a meeting in a traditional tent setting to discuss the Syrian refugee situation and the effects on the community. The minister also met with local authorities in Amman for similar discussions.


“I am certain that through our #WelcomeRefugees national project we are doing the right thing. I am humbled by their plight and know Canada’s hard work to resettle displaced Syrian refugees as quickly as possible is having a positive and significant impact.”

Hon. John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“The countries of Lebanon and Jordan have opened their doors to well over a million refugees even though it is clearly a strain on local resources. This reaffirms for me Canada must do its part to urgently resettle some of these Syrian refugees to Canada.”

Hon. John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

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Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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