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UNHCR hails Canada’s pledge to take another 25,000 Syria refugees

UNHCR today welcomed the announcement by the Government of Canada to take in a further 25,000 Syrian refugees through humanitarian admission programmes by the end of 2015.

“This is a huge gesture of solidarity with the Syrian people and the countries neighbouring Syria which together are hosting more than four million refugees and bearing the brunt of this crisis. I urge other countries to follow Canada’s lead, galvanise their resources, and dramatically increase the number of Syrians who are able to rebuild their lives in safe countries without having to take perilous journeys,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.

“Too many vulnerable refugees are languishing in countries neighbouring Syria, caught in a downward spiral of poverty and risk as they struggle to meet their basic needs. We need many more ambitious programmes like this to offer Syrians a chance to start their lives anew,” Guterres added.

UNHCR will work with Canadian immigration authorities to allow for the quick identification of vulnerable Syrians in the Middle East, particularly from Lebanon and Jordan, and facilitate their move to Canada.

The announcement comes on top of Canada’s earlier pledge to receive 10,000 places for Syrian refugees before September 2016, following UNHCR’s pledging conference for resettlement and other forms of humanitarian admission in December 2014. The total number of places for Syrians under these schemes in some 30 countries now stands at 155,408.

UNHCR estimates 10 per cent of the 4.1 million registered refugees in countries neighbouring Syria are vulnerable and are in need of resettlement or humanitarian admission to a third country.

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