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 has announced.
“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.
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.