Canada to resettle 1,300 Syrian refugees

Federal Minister Jason Kenney announced today in Edmonton that the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has committed to resettle up to 1,300 Syrian refugees by the end of 2014.

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In response to the UNHCR’s appeal for Canada to resettle a limited number of extremely vulnerable, urgent cases, Canada will resettle 200 extremely vulnerable Syrian refugees through the Government-Assisted Refugees Program in 2013 and 2014.

In addition, Canada has been working with Sponsorship Agreement Holders and has committed to accepting up to 1,100 Syrian refugees in 2014 through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. This number is over and above the current number of resettlement spaces available to Sponsorship Agreement Holders.

The Government of Canada is also expediting the processing of family class applications, to the extent possible, given the difficult circumstances.

The situation in Syria has been increasingly dire. By the early months of 2013 the UNHCR announced that the number of refugees had topped 1 million, and by March 2013 had risen to 1,204,707 people.

According to Minister Kenney, Canada receives about one out of every 10 of all resettled refugees globally, more than almost any other industrialized country.