Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

Ireland strengthens response to refugee protection with the formal launch of Community Sponsorship Programme

Press releases

Ireland strengthens response to refugee protection with the formal launch of Community Sponsorship Programme

15 November 2019

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has warmly welcomed the formal launch of Ireland’s Refugee Community Sponsorship Programme. To date, five families (17 people) have arrived so far under an initial pilot programme, which allows individuals in communities around Ireland to provide hands-on support in the reception and integration of refugees.


“The community sponsorship programme has already had a positive impact on the lives of refugees who have made Ireland home” said Enda O’Neill, Head of Office with UNHCR Ireland.


“With less than 0.5% of the world’s refugees resettled in 2018, complementary pathways such as community sponsorship are a vital lifeline for people facing heightened risks once they flee abroad.”


Providing safe solutions, including resettlement and community sponsorship, are one of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees. The Three-year Strategy (2019-2021) on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways, which followed the Compact, aims to increase the number of resettlement spaces, expand the number of resettlement countries and improve the availability and predictability of complementary pathways for refugees.


It aims to find resettlement places for 60,000 refugees in 2019 followed by an incremental increase of 10,000 departures per year to end with 150,000 in 2028.


“Resettlement and other complementary pathways are an invaluable tool to provide international protection to refugees whose life, liberty, safety, health or other fundamental human rights are at risk in the country where they initially sought refuge. At a time when 85% of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing regions of the world , it is also an important show of solidarity with those countries who host the vast majority of people forced to flee.”


Turning the aspirations of the Global Compact and the three-year strategy into real solutions for refugees will be the focus of next month’s Global Refugee Forum. It takes place on 17 and 18 December 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. States, including Ireland, will convene to deliver concrete pledges and contributions that will advance the objectives of the Compact and achieve tangible benefits for refugees and host communities.


For more information, please contact Jody Clarke, Senior External Relations Associate on 087 989 3461 or [email protected]