Press Releases, 13 June 2014
13 JUNE 2014 – The UN refugee agency welcomes the decision taken at the German Interior Ministers' Conference to extend their humanitarian admission programme for Syrian refugees by an additional 10,000 places. Germany has previously committed to providing 10,000 places for Syrian refugees under this programme in 2013 and 2014.
UNHCR representative in Germany, Hans ten Feld said the decision "was further strong proof of the leading role Germany plays regarding the admission of Syrian refugees beyond the conflict region. Now offering a total of 20,000 places Germany provides over two thirds of the total admission and resettlement places offered across the whole of Europe. This is an important signal of real solidarity with the victims of this horrible conflict." In addition, fifteen federal states in Germany have launched programmes for Syrian nationals with relatives in Germany. Approximately 5,500 visas have been issued under this scheme to date.
UNHCR urges states to consider a number of solutions that can provide secure, urgent and effective protection for Syrian refugees in need. 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 addition, states could offer other kind of solutions, including programmes that enable Syrian relatives to join family members, create scholarships for Syrian students, and offer medical evacuation for refugees with serious health conditions that require life-saving treatment.
We appeal to the international community to continue providing long-term solutions for Syrian refugees who are most urgently in need. UNHCR urges other states to join Germany in offering resettlement and other forms of admission for refugees from Syria towards the multiannual goal of 130,000 by the end 2016. Germany's offer of 10,000 places now brings the total places pledged for Syrian refugees globally to well over 33,000 places, exceeding the goal set by UNHCR to secure at least 30,000 places for Syrian refugees by the end of 2014. Germany's contribution also sets an important precedent for States as they begin making plans for offering additional places in 2015-2016 to help reach the next benchmark of 100,000 places for Syrian refugees.