News comment by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on US decision to increase refugee resettlement admissions

I praise President Biden’s move to restore the US’ leadership on refugee resettlement.

The decision to increase this year’s resettlement admissions ceiling and admit up to 62,500 refugees is a measure that will save lives and protect some of the world’s most vulnerable.

It comes at a time when global refugee resettlement has plummeted to unprecedented levels, as a result of the low quotas put forward by states and the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, less than 23,000 refugees were resettled globally.

These are the lowest refugee resettlement numbers I have seen in almost two decades.

The US commitments to increase admissions for this year and the next are therefore a lifeline for refugees and for our global resettlement program.

I hope this decision will now also inspire other countries to follow suit, to restore or expand their resettlement commitments. 

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, will continue to support the scale-up of the program and help expedite refugee admissions.