UN: UN refugee agency projects resettlement needs for 1.19 million in 2017

New York, US (PANA) - With a multitude of conflicts and crises causing record displacement around the world, more than 1.19 million people are projected to be in need of resettlement in 2017, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Monday.

According to the Projected Global Resettlement Needs 2017, released by UNHCR in Geneva, Switzerland, more than one million refugees were submitted by the agency to over 30 resettlement countries in the past decade, and the number of people in need of resettlement far surpasses the opportunities for placement in a third country.

A UN statement on the report, made available to PANA in New York, said the number of people in need of resettlement in 2017 will likely surpass 1.19 million, up 72 per cent on the projected needs for 691,000 in 2014, before large-scale resettlement of Syrians began.

The statement quoted UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi as saying: "We are seeing resettlement taken to a new level and that enhanced resettlement can be an effective means of sharing the responsibility for refugee protection, but much more needs to be done to keep pace with the growing numbers of acutely vulnerable."

He noted that, in 2017, Syrians are projected to account for 40 per cent of needs, followed by Sudan at 11 per cent, Afghanistan at 10 per cent and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at nine per cent.

He said that, in response, UNHCR expects to submit 170,000 refugees for resettlement next year, based on the expected global quotas from resettlement states, an increase from a current target of some 143,000 in 2016 and more than 100,000 in each of 2015 and 2014.

"Despite increased resettlement quotas from some countries, expansion in global resettlement capacity, and increases in submissions, the gap in terms of needs remains great," Mr. Grandi said.

The UN refugee chief said that the report also said that 2015 was a record year for submissions with 134,044, up 29 per cent from the 103,890 recorded in 2014.

"Resettlement is now more important than ever as a solution, and we must grasp this opportunity to increase the number of refugees benefitting from it, as well as other avenues for admission," he said, adding that UNHCR estimates more than one million are in need of resettlement because they are unable to return home or integrate in host countries for a variety of reasons.

"The Syrian crisis marked a major shift in the focus of resettlement. By 2014, Syrians were the largest group referred for resettlement and, by 2015, an average two out of every five submissions were Syrians compared to one out of five in 2014.

"In 2015, Syria accounted for 53,305 submissions, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 20,527, Iraq’s 11,161, Somalia’s 10,193 and Myanmar’s 9,738. These five countries made up almost 80 per cent of submissions that year.

"In 2015, the United States accepted 82,491 resettlement submissions from UNHCR, 62 per cent of all submissions, followed by Canada’s 22,886, Australia’s 9,321, Norway’s 3,806 and the United Kingdom’s 3,622," Mr. Grandi stated.

The statement also disclosed that the UNHCR was focusing on how complementary paths such as humanitarian visas, family reunion and scholarships could help bridge the need gaps.

PANA learnt that the report was released on the first day of the Annual Tripartite Consultations for Resettlement holding in Geneva, Switzerland, a gathering of representatives from UNHCR, resettlement countries and non-governmental organizations.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 13June2016

13 june 2016 15:54:27

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