The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a recent report that the gap is growing between the number of refugees who need resettlement and the places made available by countries worldwide. The agency is calling for stronger efforts by governments to continue the UN resettlement program.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in its report "Projected Global Resettlement Needs 2019" presented in Geneva, said the gap is widening between the number of refugees who need a place for resettlement and the number of places made available by governments around the world.
In a statement, UNHCR said close to 1.4 million people will need resettlement in countries free from war and persecution in 2019, while the number of places available for resettlement worldwide decreased to just 75,000 in 2017. Based on these figures, it would take 18 years to resettle the most vulnerable refugees worldwide.
Grandi says "resettlements save lives"
"In Niger just last week, I saw how resettlement is literally saving lives, as part of an innovative scheme to evacuate refugees rescued from horrendous conditions in Libya and resettle them onwards from Niger to new countries. We need more resettlement places to allow this programme to continue, and to see this kind of common purpose and resolve among States replicated on a massive scale to meet today's global challenges," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
UNHCR said increasing opportunities for refugees to move to third countries is a key objective in the new global compact on refugees. "Resettlement is not only a critical lifeline for some of the most vulnerable people on the planet, it's also a tangible way governments and communities can better share responsibility for the global displacement crisis," Grandi said.
Two-thirds resettled from Syria and Congo
Thirty-five countries now take part in UNHCR's resettlement programme. The report said refugees from 36 nationalities are in need of resettlement out of 65 operations in countries around the world. Refugees from Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo made up two-thirds of the refugees submitted for resettlement by UNHCR in 2017. UNHCR is calling on countries to take in more refugees with acute protection needs. Currently, only 14 out of 25 resettlement states receive refugees from more than three different resettlement operations.