EDMONTON, July 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada has made an initial commitment to
resettle up to 1,300 Syrian refugees this year and next Citizenship,
Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
"The Government of Canada is deeply concerned about the crisis in Syria
and was ready to respond immediately to those identified by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as being most in need of
urgent protection," said Minister Kenney. "As the UNHCR has stated
repeatedly, only a political solution can end the violence and the
humanitarian crisis in Syria and Canada continues to work with the
international community toward this." In response to the UNHCR's appeal
for Canada to resettle a limited number of extremely vulnerable, urgent
cases, Canada will resettle 200 extremely vulnerable Syrian refugees
through the Government-Assisted Refugees Program in 2013 and 2014.
In addition, Canada has been working with Sponsorship Agreement Holders
and has committed to accepting up to 1,100 Syrian refugees in 2014
through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. This number is
over and above the current number of resettlement spaces available to
Sponsorship Agreement Holders.
Today's commitment is the latest in a series of actions Canada has taken
to provide assistance in the region.
In addition to $68.5 million already committed through the Department of
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, on June 17, 2013, Prime
Minister Harper recently announced an additional $115 million in
assistance to address the needs of Syrian refugees both in Syria and in
The support will include $90 million toward humanitarian organizations
providing food, clean water, sanitation, emergency health care,
shelter, protection, and other urgent assistance. The remaining $25
million responds to appeals for assistance by the Governments of Jordan
and Lebanon for the delivery of basic services which are under severe
stress due to the influx of refugees.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird also announced on June 16, 2013,
that Canada will help Jordan cope with the tremendous burden it bears
as a result of the civil war raging in neighbouring Syria. $100-million
of reliable funding for the next three years will, among other things,
help Jordan continue to temporarily house the thousands of refugees
streaming across its borders each day as well as enhance security in
Jordan's sprawling refugee camps.
Canada has also committed to resettling up to 5,000 refugees out of
Turkey by 2018, mainly Iraqis and Iranians.
In addition, Canada continues to resettle Iraqi refugees in the region
as part of its commitment to resettle 20,000 Iraqi refugees which was
made before the conflict in Syria broke out. Canada is seeing this
commitment through. The Government of Canada has resettled almost
16,000 refugees to date and is on track to meet its commitment of
resettling 20,000 Iraqis by 2015. The United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees has stated that Iraqi refugees in Syria are particularly
vulnerable and have encouraged Canada to continue processing this
These efforts will ease the burden on the region, freeing up resources
for the current influx of Syrians seeking relief.
In addition, through a partnership with UNHCR and the International
Catholic Migration Commission, CIC will provide nearly $1 million to
fund the deployment of up to five staff members to directly assist with
the resettlement of displaced Syrians in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and
The Government of Canada is also expediting the processing of family
class applications, to the extent possible, given the difficult
"Today's announcement reflects Canada's humanitarian commitment to
refugee protection as Canada continues to have one of the most generous
immigration and refugee systems in the world," said Minister Kenney.
"We welcome about one out of every 10 of all resettled refugees
globally, more than almost any other industrialized country. We have
also increased resettlement assistance funding for refugees by 20
Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping
ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest
and most generous immigration programs in the world.
SOURCE: Citizenship and Immigration Canada
For further information:
For more information on Canada's refugee programs, visit the CIC website at www.cic.gc.ca.
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Photos of Minister Kenney are available.
For further information (media only), please contact:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada