UNHCR congratulates Canada on the arrival in the country of the 10,000th Syrian refugee as part of its humanitarian program to admit 25,000 Syrian refugees. The 10,000th Syrian refugee arrived on Canadian soil on 12 January. Reaching such a significant milestone in less than two months after announcing the initiative in early November last year is an important achievement in the program, which will ultimately give thousands of vulnerable Syrian refugees the opportunity to start a new life in Canada.

The rapid implementation of this humanitarian initiative could not have been achieved without efficient coordination, and the dedication and commitment from all involved. UNHCR works closely with Canada and the International Organization for Migration, which is providing transport and other support to the refugees to ensure the successful and timely completion of this programme. We look forward to continuing our collaboration in other programs as well, aiming at providing Syrian refugees with very much-needed humanitarian support.

As the resources of the host countries surrounding Syria are being increasingly stretched, the living conditions of the over 4.3 million Syrian refugees in the region are deteriorating. UNHCR calls on other states to follow the Canadian example and show solidarity with the refugee hosting countries in the region by giving Syrian refugees legal opportunities to move to another country. On 30 March, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi will convene a high-level meeting in Geneva on global responsibility sharing for Syrian refugees, at which countries will be invited to pledge to admit more Syrian refugees from the neighbouring countries, either through resettlement or other humanitarian programs. UNHCR estimates that at least 10 per cent of the registered refugees in countries neighbouring Syria are vulnerable and are in need of resettlement or other ways to be admitted to a third country.

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