Geneva, 27 June 2014 – New offers of resettlement or humanitarian admissions for Syrian refugees were today pledged by Belgium, Ireland, Switzerland and Uruguay. In all, 565 new places were announced during a high-level meeting of 42 countries, taking the total number of offers received since mid-2013 to more than 34,700 places. In addition, the United States has pledged open-ended resettlement numbers.
The majority of offers to date come from European states, with Germany having offered over half the global total. In all 22 countries have offered places for Syrian refugees so far.
High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said: "I hope this momentum continues over the coming months. Resettlement and other humanitarian admission programmes are critical and can be life-saving for the victims of the conflict in Syria. This represents another expression of solidarity with the host countries and the communities that have been suffering the impact of this terrible conflict on their economy and society."
Co-chair of the meeting, Sweden's Minister of Migration and Asylum Tobias Billström said: "It is important that more states join UNHCR's resettlement and other forms of admission programmes. Providing resettlement for the most vulnerable Syrian refugees also clearly demonstrates our solidarity with the host governments in the region, as well as with the people who are fleeing and who are in need of our immediate protection."
UNHCR has asked States to provide 30,000 resettlement and humanitarian admissions places for Syrian refugees in 2013 and 2014. A further 100,000 places are being sought for 2015 and 2016.
UNHCR continues to urge States to consider all solutions that can provide secure, urgent and effective protection for Syrian refugees in need. UNHCR anticipates that in the coming years, there will be increasing numbers of vulnerable Syrian refugees who will be in need.
States are also being encouraged to offer programmes to complement resettlement for Syrians, for example allowing relatives to join family members, scholarships for Syrian students, or medical evacuations for refugees with serious health conditions.