Today, at a high-level meeting convened by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on “Global Responsibility Sharing through Pathways for Admission of Syrian Refugees” held in Geneva, Switzerland, Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom announced additional steps the United States is taking to help Syrian refugees. First, the United States pledged an additional $10 million to UNHCR to strengthen its efforts to identify and refer vulnerable refugees, including Syrians, for resettlement. The United States also reaffirmed its commitment to resettle at least 10,000 Syrians in FY 2016 and increase the total number of resettled refugees from around the world to 100,000 by the end of FY 2017 – an increase of over 40 percent since FY 2015 – while maintaining a robust security screening protocol. Additionally, the United States has created a program to allow U.S. citizens and permanent residents to file refugee applications for their Syrian family members.
The United States also committed to sharing its technical expertise on resettlement and integration with countries developing new resettlement programs; creating long-term partnerships with resettlement and integration experts and practitioners in Europe; and linking dozens of European and U.S. institutions, government officials, civil society members, and thought leaders to discuss U.S. resettlement and integration experiences at the national and local levels.
The United States joins UNHCR in calling for new ways nations, civil society, the private sector, and individuals can together address the global refugee challenge. The United States encourages other countries to consider expanding resettlement and other forms of admissions for all refugee populations, ensuring that more of those in need have the opportunity to start their lives anew in safety and with dignity.