UNHCR calls on international community to resettle 130,000 Syrian refugees
News Stories, 09 December 2014
©UNHCR/ J. Kohler The most vulnerable Syrian refugees are given priority for resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes.
Geneva, December 9, UNHCR - UNHCR has called on governments around the world to provide resettlement and other forms of admission for 130,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016. At a pledging conference in Geneva on 9 December, States are being asked to commit to providing protection to the most vulnerable Syrian refugees.In September 2013, UNHCR called upon States to admit 30,000 Syrian refugees through resettlement, humanitarian admission, or other programmes from 2013 to 2014. The total pledges and places made available currently stands at 62,000. In addition, nearly 9,500 visas have been granted by States under other forms of admission. UNHCR has also so far submitted more than 9,000 Syrians for resettlement to the United States of America. These numbers combined bring us nearly half-way towards the goal of 130,000.
In January, the UK government announced its intention to provide refuge to ‘hundreds’ of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme. Ninety Syrian refugees have thus arrived in the UK via this scheme.
“This is the largest humanitarian crisis of our time,” UNHCR Spokesperson Ariane Rummery told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“We’ve got 3.2 million [Syrian] refugees in the Middle East in countries neighbouring Syria. In terms of the refugees we think need a resettlement place, we think about ten per cent of those are very vulnerable because they are survivors of torture, because they have acute medical needs or they’re women alone or otherwise vulnerable,” Rummery said.
Most Syrian refugees remain in countries neighbouring Syria, with the highest concentrations in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. This has led to an enormous strain on their economies, infrastructure and resources.
9 year old Mahmoud found himself being bullied and shot at in Egypt after being forced to flee his home in Syria. His epic journey shows just why these resettlement places are so important.