Canada to resettle 1,300 Syrian refugees by end of 2014

Edmonton, July 3, 2013 — 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 neighbouring countries.   

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.

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 Lebanon.

The Government of Canada is also expediting the processing of family class applications, to the extent possible, given the difficult circumstances.

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 percent.

For more information on Canada’s refugee programs.

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Photos of Minister Kenney available.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Alexis Pavlich
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

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