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UN: Countries Vow to Accept 100,000 Syrian Refugees

  • VOA News

A Syrian refugee child eats inside his family's tent at an informal settlement in Deir al-Ahmar, Bekaa valley, Sept.16, 2014.

A Syrian refugee child eats inside his family's tent at an informal settlement in Deir al-Ahmar, Bekaa valley, Sept.16, 2014.

The United Nations says member states have agreed to take in more than 100,000 Syrian refugees from neighboring host countries, doubling previous resettlement offers.

The announcement by U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres Tuesday comes hours after a donor-country conference in Geneva, in which he repeated a plea for increased international collaboration to resettle Syrians fleeing a civil war and the encroaching Islamic State militant group.

"Today, 28 countries expressed their solidarity with the Syrian refugees but also with the five neighboring countries that are hosting them - Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, offering what we estimate will be more than 100,000 opportunities for resettlement and humanitarian admission," he said.

Earlier in the day, Guterres said the long-term goal was for non-neighboring countries to welcome 10 percent of the estimated 3 million Syrian refugees abroad.

"I think it is an excellent interim result, but I will only be happy when all the Syrians that would in a justified way or should be resettled, have a resettlement opportunity," he said.

According to the U.N., the majority of the states that offered to accept refugees on Tuesday are from the European Union.

The refugee agency also shared its projected budget for next year at Tuesday's conference - $6.2 billion. In a statement, the agency said it has received pledges for about $500 million so far.

The appeals for monetary and humanitarian contributions come as the U.N. struggles to meet the financial demands of the ongoing crisis in Syria, where an estimated 9 million people are displaced.

Roughly a third fleeing civil war and the Islamic State are living in neighboring countries like Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.

Earlier Tuesday, the U.N.'s World Food Program said it resumed providing food vouchers to Syrian refugees in five countries, following a week of massive fundraising.

The agency cut the service last week, citing a funding shortfall of $64 million.

The World Food Program said Tuesday that individuals and governments have since contributed $80 million.

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