Briefing Notes, 21 February 2014
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Dan McNorton – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at the press briefing, on 21 February 2014, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
UNHCR is today calling upon states 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 has earlier called upon states to provide solutions for 30,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees through resettlement or other forms of admission 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 of America.
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.
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.
States could also offer other kinds of solutions: they could develop programmes that enable Syrian relatives to join family members. They could create scholarships for Syrian students in order to prevent a "lost generation" of young people. They could also offer medical evacuation for refugees with serious health conditions that require life-saving treatment.
We appeal to the international community to continue providing longer-term solutions for Syrian refugees who are most urgently in need.
There are currently over 2.4 million refugees registered in the region. In Lebanon there are some 932,000, Jordan some 574,000, Turkey some 613,000, Iraq some 223,000 and Egypt some 134,000 refugees.
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