UNHCR Jordan begins Syrian refugee resettlement process for Canada

Published November 22nd, 2015 - 07:31 GMT
Jordan is currently home to over 600,000 Syrian refugees. (AFP/File)
Jordan is currently home to over 600,000 Syrian refugees. (AFP/File)

UNHCR Jordan has transferred files of Syrian families to the Canadian authorities for the resettlement process, Andrew Harper, the agency’s representative to Jordan, said on Saturday.

Canada will release details next week concerning its pledge to take in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year, Immigration Minister John McCallum said on Friday, according to Reuters.

The agency added that the pledge became a significant component of the new Liberal government’s election campaign, but since the attacks in Paris last week, questions have been raised as to whether the government will be able bring that number of refugees to Canada quickly and safely.

Details will be released on Tuesday, McCallum said.

The number of Syrian refugees from Jordan who will be resettled in Canada has not been decided yet, according to Harper.

“They talk about 25,000 from the entire region; we have to find out how many they will take from Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq,” Harper told The Jordan Times.

Other countries that committed to take Syrian refugees are the US, the UK, Australia, Norway and Sweden, the UNHCR official said.

“We have to find out if they will change the criteria after what happened in Paris,” he added. 

Last week, the US House of Representatives, defying a veto threat by President Barack Obama, overwhelmingly passed Republican-backed legislation to suspend a programme to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year and then intensify the process of screening them, Reuters reported.

The measure was drafted following the attacks in Paris last Friday that killed 129 people.

A total of 633,644 Syrian refugees are currently registered with the UNHCR in Jordan, according to the agency’s website, but the authorities say the actual number of Syrians residing in the Kingdom is around 1.4 million, constituting some 20 per cent of the population.

By Khetam Malkawi


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