I praise President Biden’s move to restore the US’ leadership on refugee resettlement.
The decision to increase this year’s resettlement admissions ceiling and admit up to 62,500 refugees is a measure that will save lives and protect some of the world’s most vulnerable.
It comes at a time when global refugee resettlement has plummeted to unprecedented levels, as a result of the low quotas put forward by states and the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last year, less than 23,000 refugees were resettled globally.
These are the lowest refugee resettlement numbers I have seen in almost two decades.
The US commitments to increase admissions for this year and the next are therefore a lifeline for refugees and for our global resettlement program.
I hope this decision will now also inspire other countries to follow suit, to restore or expand their resettlement commitments.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, will continue to support the scale-up of the program and help expedite refugee admissions.
Originally published by UNHCR on 5 May 2021.