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Since 2013 Belgium has a structural resettlement programme, which means that our country offers every year protection to a number of vulnerable refugees. Since this date, 3,050 refugees have been resettled in Belgium, among them 2,658 Syrian refugees and 315 Congolese refugees.

  • 2013: 100 refugees, a vast majority of Burundian and Congolese refugees staying in camps in Tanzania and Burundi;
  • 2014: 34 refugees (Syrian refugees from Turkey);
  • 2015: 276 refugees, a vast majority of Syrian refugees from Lebanon and Congolese refugees from Burundi; 
  • 2016: 452 refugees, a vast majority of Syrian refugees from Lebanon and Turkey;
  • 2017: 1,191 Syrian refugees from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, and 118 Congolese refugees from Uganda;
  • 2018 (until 13 October): 803 Syrian refugees from Libanon, Turkey and Jordan; 34 Congolese refugees from Uganda en 42 Eritrean and Somali refugees from Niger.

Previous Belgian resettlement initiatives

Since the Second World War, Belgium has resettled over 10,000 people. The largest and most recent groups to have benefited from these initiatives are:

  • 1956-1957: 6,000 Hungarians who had fled after the suppression of the rebellion were given a new home in Belgium.
  • In 1972, 400 Asians who escaped Idi Amin's Uganda benefited from resettlement in Belgium.
  • In 1973, 1,100 Chileans fleeing Pinochet's regime of terror were resettled in Belgium.
  • In 1975, 2,500 boat people from Vietnam and Cambodia were given the opportunity to start a new life in Belgium.
  • In 1992, Belgium became home to 200 Bosnians and subsequently children, the injured and their family members originally from Bosnia.
  • In 1999, during the war in Kosovo, 1,200 Kosovars were able to settle in Belgium. This Belgian initiative was part of a European framework to coordinate the reception efforts by Member States.
  • In 2009, following the European call for the resettlement of Iraqi refugees, the Belgian Council of Ministers gave its agreement for the resettlement of 47 Iraqi refugees in Belgium. The group comprised single women with children and Iraqi Palestinians.
  • In 2011, during the conflict in Libya, 25 people of Eritrean and Congolese origin (families and single women) who were refugees in Tunisia benefited from the resettlement programme in Belgium.