Major landmark in resettlement of Iraqi refugees to be met today
Today the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres is announcing that 100,000 Iraqi refugees have been referred for resettlement. This is a major milestone in the saga of refugees from Iraq, one of the world's largest refugee populations.
The High Commissioner, who is in Syria today meeting with some of the many thousands of Iraqi refugees there, will be highlighting this during a live global video event. The event is being co-hosted for this weekend's World Refugee Day by UNHCR and the Department of State of the United States - the main country of resettlement for Iraqis. It will link to with refugees in Democratic Republic of Congo, refugees in Syria, as well as to our Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie who is currently in Ecuador ahead of World Refugee Day. Video messages or links are also being relayed to audiences at the Shanghai World Expo and in Malaysia.
High Commissioner Guterres will also be using the occasion, the first time that World Refugee Day has been hosted in the Middle East, to appeal for faster processing of refugees being referred for resettlement. Of the 100,000 people who have been referred for resettlement since 2007 almost half are still awaiting departure to their new homes due to delays in state processing mechanisms.