Publication date: 2002-08-17
RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 17 (Kyodo) -- A group of 25 Afghan refugees Brazil hosts has presented a number of grievances to local authorities, the official news agency said Saturday.
The group demands chiefly to raise the financial assistance they receive from the Brazilian government to \160 monthly from the current \83, according to the Agencia Brasil news agency.
''It seems the group was not properly informed of the real situation in Brazil by the United Nations' High Commission for refugees,'' the agency quoted the coordinator for the Center for Refugee Assistance, Rosaura Scavone, as saying.
The Brazilian government supplies to the Afghan refugees accommodations, a monthly basket of essential food items, private Portuguese classes, interpreters and school for their children, besides medical and dental care.
Scavone has told the news agency that some adults in the group have refused jobs to work at gas stations or as building doormen.
Some of the refugees have found jobs: a man is employed fixing carpets during the day and as a waiter at night and another works as a painter, his original profession, while a woman is working as a cook, another as a hairdresser and a third one as a masseuse.
The group arrived in Brazil in April from a camp in Iran. Some of them have reported to local authorities their families have suffered the consequences of conflicts and war for more than 20 years.
Brazil has based the group in the southern city of Porto Alegre, the capital of the Rio Grande do Sul state, which is the home to thousands of immigrants from Germany, Italy and Portugal.
Brazil hosts some 3,000 political refugees and will receive 30 Baha'is from Iran and other refugees from racial conflicts in Africa.
©Copyright 2002, Kyodo News Service (Brazil)