VANCOUVER – MOSAIC has been chosen to lead a Refugee Response Team in Vancouver to help refugees settle and integrate into the community.

Funding will be provided in two instalments, with the first portion delivered immediately and the remainder in the summer when final settlement numbers are known. Supported by the initial $107,655 grant through the $1-million Refugee Readiness Fund, the Refugee Response Team in Vancouver will identify and prioritize short-term community needs to support a coordinated approach to helping refugees. The team will provide links with employers or other labour market opportunities and coordinate community supports.

“We are thrilled that the Province of BC is supporting local communities to come together and develop the Response Readiness Plan for refugees resettling in our communities,” said Eyob Naizghi, Executive Director of MOSAIC. “As a lead organization for Metro Vancouver, MOSAIC will be working with over 30 partners from community organizations, faith and private sponsorship groups, school districts, health services, local governments, business and others on this plan. We know from our work that when refugees come to a new country, arriving into communities that are ready to welcome and assist them in their settlement and integration will have a higher rate of success.”

The team will have representatives from the refugee service provider community, including settlement organizations, private sponsors, churches, educators, health care providers and employers. The Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training will continue to engage with settlement communities across B.C. to ensure they have the capacity to support any incoming refugees.

In addition to the $1-million Refugee Readiness Fund, the province funds a number of programs for all newcomers, including $2.6 million for 1,200 newcomers to B.C. to get language training for the job market; $1.5 million through the Canada-BC job grant to help refugees access job training and match them with employers; and $4 million for services for newcomers who are not eligible for federal services. Wait periods and premiums for Medical Service Plan (MSP) coverage are waived for all refugees.

Each refugee student in public school in B.C. is funded from the Province’s pupil funding formula. In addition, all refugees are able to access the Employment Program of B.C., and are eligible to receive a Child Care Subsidy, the BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit, the BC Basic Family Bonus, and Student Aid.

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