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UNHCR welcomes first Syrian refugee arrivals in Canada

Briefing notes

UNHCR welcomes first Syrian refugee arrivals in Canada

11 December 2015 Also available in:

UNHCR welcomes news of the arrival in Canada last night of the first group of Syrian refugees under a recently announced humanitarian programme which will provide a new life for 25,000 Syrian refugees. This first group of 163 refugees arrived from Lebanon by Royal Canadian Air Force jet.

Canada has acted swiftly to implement this initiative, which was announced in late November. UNHCR is continuing to work with the Canadian authorities in identifying vulnerable Syrians for settlement in Canada. The refugees' welcome to Canada will be underpinned by its well-recognised community integration programmes.

The Canadian programmes are a practical expression of support to Syrian refugees and demonstration of solidarity to those countries in the region hosting more than four million Syrian refugees. The difficult situation for Syrian refugees continues to deteriorate, with increasing numbers living below national poverty lines.

UNHCR encourages other states to engage in these programmes. They provide critical support for refugees currently hosted in countries neighbouring Syria. To date some 30 countries have pledged a total of more than 160,000 places for Syrians under resettlement and other humanitarian admissions schemes. UNHCR estimates 10 per cent of the 4.1 million registered refugees in countries neighbouring Syria are vulnerable and are in need of resettlement or humanitarian admission to a third country.

For more details on places for Syrians under resettlement or other forms of humanitarian admission, please see:

For more information on this topic, please contact:

  • In Ottawa, Gisele Nyembwe on mobile +613 986 4300
  • In Geneva, Adrian Edwards on mobile+41 79 557 9120
  • In Geneva, Ariane Rummery on mobile +41 79 200 7617
  • In Geneva, Karin de Gruijl on mobile +41 79 255 9213