Refugee resettlement needs to increase sharply next year - UN

AFP

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A policeman takes the details of Rohingya refugees at the Sadar Model police station in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on May 4, 2022.
Tanbir Miraj/AFPA policeman takes the details of Rohingya refugees at the Sadar Model police station in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on May 4, 2022.

Over 2 million refugees expected to need resettlement in 2023

The United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday that it expects more than two million refugees next year to need resettlement - a 36-percent increase on the 1.47 million estimated to need resettlement this year.

"This 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," UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo told reporters.

The UN agency last week said that more than 27 million people around the world were living as refugees at the end of last year, with the vast majority settled in poorer countries. In some cases, refugees are identified as needing to be resettled in a third country.

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Most resettlement requests come from Africa, followed by the Middle East and Turkey. Refugees from Syria, whose country has been ravaged by more than a decade of civil war, account for most replacement needs, with nearly 780,000 spots estimated to be needed.

Afghan refugees are estimated to have the second highest resettlement needs, with 274,000 people seeking to be moved, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Myanmar, UNHCR said. However, the needs far outstrip the places available.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, refugee resettlement plummeted to record lows, with only 22,800 departures that year. The number was much higher last year, at 39,266, but still a far cry from what is needed.

Only a few countries participate in the resettlement program, including the United States, Canada, Germany, Britain, Australia and the Nordic countries. 

Earlier on Monday, which marked World Refugee Day, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said the UNHCR has counted more than 100 million refugees or displaced people around the world. 

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