28 February 2014

UNHCR has urged countries to offer resettlement places or other forms of admission, such as humanitarian admission or individual sponsorship, for an additional 100,000 Syrian refugees in 2015 and 2016. The UN Agency anticipates that in the upcoming years, there will be an increasing number of refugees from Syria who will be in need of resettlement or other forms of humanitarian admission.

“States could also offer other kinds of solutions: they could develop programmes that enable Syrian relatives to join family members. They could create scholarships for Syrian students in order to prevent a ‘lost generation’ of young people. They could also offer medical evacuation for refugees with serious health conditions that require life-saving treatment,” explains UNHCR spokesperson Dan McNorton.

The UN Agency had previously called upon states to provide solutions for 30,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees by the end of 2014 and to date 20 countries have offered over 18,800 resettlement places towards this goal.

In Europe, Germany will take in 10,000 refugees from Syria and Sweden will resettle 1,200 in addition to giving permanent residence permit to Syria’s refugees in the country. Austria, Finland, France and the UK have pledged to resettle 500 refugees each.

According to the UNHCR there are currently 2.4 million refugees registered in the region. In Lebanon there are 932,000 refugees, Jordan is hosting around 574,000, Turkey 613,000, Iraq 22,300 and Egypt around 134,000 refugees.  Europe is hosting just over 3% of the total number of refugees from Syria.

“Five years ago Syria was the world’s second-largest refugee hosting country. Syrians are now about to replace Afghans as the present biggest refugee population worldwide. It breaks my heart to see this nation that for decades welcomed refugees from other countries, ripped apart and forced into exile itself,” stated this week UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 28 February 2014
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