Afghan refugees waiting for resettlement to a third country, camp near the UNHCR office in Jakarta | Photo: ARCHIVE / EPA / MAST IRHAM
Afghan refugees waiting for resettlement to a third country, camp near the UNHCR office in Jakarta | Photo: ARCHIVE / EPA / MAST IRHAM

UNHCR has said that two million refugees will be in need of resettlement next year. That's 36% more than the number of those in 2022, the UN agency said.

More than 2 million refugees will be in need of resettlement next year. That's a a 36% increase compared to resettlement needs of the 1.47 million for this year, according to a statement released by by the UN refugee agency UNHCR on June 21.

The rise is attributed to the humanitarian impacts of the pandemic, the multitude of various protracted refugee situations, and the emergence of new displacement situations over the past year.

Syrian refugees population with highest resettlement needs

"Most needs in 2023 will be from countries of asylum across the African continent; some 662,012 refugees hosted there are estimated to be in need of resettlement. This is closely followed by the Middle East and North Africa (463,930) and Türkiye (417,200)," the UNHCR said.

Refugees in need of resettlement by country of origin

  1. Syrian refugees (around 777,800) reportedly represent the population with the highest global resettlement needs for the seventh year running.
  2. Refugees from Afghanistan are estimated to have the second highest resettlement needs globally (around 14%, or some 274,000 individuals), according to the UN. Afghans have been forcibly displaced during different periods of the country's history.
  3. Democratic Republic of the Congo (10%, or some 190,400 individuals)
  4. South Sudan (117,600 individuals) and
  5. Myanmar (more than 114,000 individuals - largely comprised of stateless Rohingya).

States asked to support resettlement

Resettlement involves the relocation of refugees from a country of asylum to a country that has agreed to admit them and grant them permanent settlement. This is available only to a tiny fraction of the world's refugees, the UN notes.

Refugee resettlement during the height of the pandemic in 2020 plummeted to record lows. Only 22,800 departures took place that year, whereas in 2021, that number almost doubled to 39,266.

UNHCR is calling on states to help narrow the gap between the numbers of those in need of resettlement and places made available. Resettlement quotas should remain flexible so that places are allocated based on urgent and emergency needs across the world, the UN said. Overall the agency called on states to "speed up resettlement processing and departure arrangements," as well as to "strengthen their processing capacities and reception structures in a sustainable manner."

"Resettlement remains a life-saving tool to ensure the protection of some of those most at risk or with specific needs that cannot be addressed in the country where they have sought protection," it said.

 

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