UNHCR welcomes New Zealand's positive budget announcement for refugees

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes New Zealand’s funding to extend and expand the Community Organisation Refugee Sponsorship (CORS) pilot for another three years. 

Communities play a vital role in helping families who have fled their countries because of conflict and persecution to settle in a new, safe country. New Zealand’s recommitment to refugee resettlement highlights the viability of community sponsorship as an additional solution for refugees worldwide. 

The announcement comes in the context of a global pandemic, where refugees and asylum seekers are facing even greater threats to their safety and security, often living in densely populated settlements with limited access to quality health services.

Expanding resettlement places and other pathways for refugees requires the commitment, expertise and resources of a variety of stakeholders. Community groups and families can play a unique role assisting refugee families resume a normal life.

“New Zealanders have already proven they have what it takes for sponsorship through the successful pilot program,” UNHCR’s Regional Representative Louise Aubin said.

“The Budget announcement will see more inspiring stories that can be shared around the world.”

The Budget will also provide more support for refugee families to reunify, a further demonstration of New Zealand’s solidarity with refugees.

“Family unity is fundamental to many of us, and certainly key to the wellbeing of the men, women and children who are in need of New Zealand’s protection,” Ms Aubin said.

“It can ease the sense of loss felt by many who, in addition to family, have lost their country, community and life as they knew it.”

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