UNHCR News Comment: Australian Budget Allocation of Additional Places for Afghans Welcome

This statement may be attributed to Adrian Edwards, UNHCR Representative for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, in Canberra.


The Australian Government’s budget announcement on Tuesday of an additional 16,500 places over the next four years for refugees from Afghanistan is welcome news and will be life-transforming for those who benefit.  

With conflict in Syria, Yemen, Myanmar, South Sudan and elsewhere, plus now in Ukraine we are witnessing extraordinary growth globally in the numbers of people who are forcibly displaced. Increased displacement amplifies existing difficulties and waiting time for the almost 1.5 million refugees worldwide who urgently need resettlement. Only 22,800 refugees referred by UNHCR departed to resettlement countries in 2020. 

This is why responsibility-sharing among nations is so important when it comes to providing answers for the world’s refugees. At a time when developments in Ukraine are so much a focus of global public and media attention, it is also crucial that the needs of refugees from countries less prevalent in the news are not overlooked or forgotten. 

Australia has a proud tradition of helping refugees from around the world. Its budget announcement will give fresh hope to some over the next four years. UNHCR looks forward to a return to Australia’s previous more ambitious resettlement targets to address the pressing needs globally.  

Media contact:

In Canberra, Charlotta Lomas [email protected] +61424 545 569