GENEVA, February 21 |(UNHCR) - The UN refugee agency on Friday called upon countries around the world to make multi-annual commitments towards a goal of providing resettlement and other forms of admission for an additional 100,000 Syrian refugees in 2015 and 2016.
UNHCR had earlier called upon states to offer resettlement or other forms of admission to 30,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees by the end of 2014. To date, 20 countries have offered more than 18,800 places towards this goal. "UNHCR remains confident that the 30,000 goal will be met by the end of the year through a significant number of submissions to the United States," spokesman Dan McNorton told journalists in Geneva.
UNHCR anticipates that, in the coming years, there will be increasing numbers of vulnerable Syrian refugees who will be in need of resettlement, relocation or other forms of humanitarian admission. "In light of the growing needs of the Syrian refugee population, the goal of 30,000 in 2014 represents only the first benchmark in securing solutions for this group," said McNorton.
As part of the emergency response, UNHCR is urging states to consider a number of solutions that can provide secure, urgent and effective protection for these people. Such solutions could include resettlement, humanitarian admission or individual sponsorship.
McNorton explained that states could also offer other kinds of solutions, including programmes that enable Syrian relatives to join family members; scholarships for Syrian students in order to prevent a "lost generation" of young people; and medical evacuation for refugees with life-threatening health conditions. "We appeal to the international community to continue providing longer-term solutions for Syrian refugees who are most urgently in need," the spokesman said.
There are currently more than 2.4 million refugees registered in the region. In Lebanon there are some 932,000, Jordan has 574,000, Turkey some 613,000, Iraq 223,000 and Egypt has about 134,000 refugees.