UN agency applauds US leadership on refugees as 10,000th Syrian refugee arrives

1 Sep 2016

UN agency applauds US leadership on refugees as 10,000th Syrian refugee arrives

08-30-2016SyrianRefugee.jpg The United Nations refugee agency has welcomed the news of the arrival of the 10,000th Syrian refugee in the United States.

“The United States has long been a leader in welcoming people fleeing global persecution and the arrival on Monday of the 10,000th Syrian refugee is a further expression of this leadership,” the Regional Representative in the US of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Shelly Pitterman, said in a news release.

“We thank the communities in the United States that have kept their doors open and also our civil society partners for their tireless humanitarian efforts,” Ms. Pitterman added. “Much more needs to be done for Syrian refugees and for the global crisis that has seen more people flee persecution than at any time ever recorded.”

UNHCR has called for greater global solidarity ahead of the UN summit on refugees and migrants, which will be held at the UN Headquarters, on 19 September, where the UN Member States will look at ways to increase efforts to deal with the unprecedented refugee crisis.

According to UNHCR, at the end of 2015, war, conflict and persecution had forced 65.3 million people globally to flee for their lives, an all-time high. The crisis is worst in Syria where more than 4.8 million have fled, mostly to neighbouring countries whose resources are stretched thin so that increasing numbers of refugees live below national poverty lines.

To aid the most vulnerable refugees and to share the burden of refugee-hosting countries, the refugee agency has called on governments to resettle those most at risk. It noted that around 478,000 Syrians are in need of resettlement – close to 40 per cent of the 1.19 million people who are in need of resettlement globally.