Refugee Who Was Given $98k To Start New Life in Cambodia Says it 'Wasn't Enough'
Abdullah Zalghani left his wife and children and fled Syria in 2013
A refugee who received $98,000 from the Australian government to relocate from Nauru to Cambodia has said the money wasn't enough to cover his living costs.
Abdullah Zalghani left his wife and children and fled Syria in 2013.
Zalghani tried to reach Australia by boat but was stopped and detained in Nauru.
Mr. Zalghan then agreed to be relocated to Cambodia in 2016, where his family later joined him.
But Zalghani argued the money wasn't enough to cover the annual cost of education and health insurance for his children, along with the debts he acquired while he was detained.
Zalghani told ABC that the Australian Government had gone back on their promise to provide local schooling and health insurance for his children for up to five years.
"It's difficult here — my kids cannot go to school," Mr. Zalghani told the ABC.
In Phnom Penh, where Mr. Zalghani has settled, the costs of private schools range from a few hundred dollars per year for a child to tens of thousands of dollars.
Zalghani said the schools he was looking charged around $2,8000 a year per child, while the cost of health insurance would amount to $7,000 annually.
The cost for both r education and health insurance for his family totals $79,800.
According to The Department of Home Affairs, Zalghani was provided with a lump sum of money to pay for health insurance for his children and schooling.
"It was emphasized to Mr. Zalghani that it was his responsibility to use the lump sum to cover his family's health, education, and other expenses as he saw fit," the spokesperson said.
"Mr. Zalghani acknowledged this would be the last payment, and that he and his family were settled and established in Cambodia."
According to ABC: The Department also said that Mr. Zalghani and his family were allowed to stay at temporary accommodation provided by the IOM for longer than the initially agreed period of three months.
"During this time IOM supported the family to carry out renovation works on their permanent accommodation to ensure it was suitable for the whole family," the spokesperson said.
"Yes, I received $38,350, but this amount is not for health insurance and study, because study and health insurance for four to five years are much higher than this amount," said Mr. Zalghani.
The Australian taxpayers pay put $55 million for such resettlement deals, with $40 million to the Cambodian government, then $15 million to the IOM to provide services.