News / Middle East

    UNHCR Seeks Homes for Nearly Half Million Syrian Refugees

    A general view shows al-Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, March 7, 2016. Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, 50-80 Syrian children have been born in the Zaatari refugee camp each week, according to the official website of UNHCR.
    A general view shows al-Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, March 7, 2016. Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, 50-80 Syrian children have been born in the Zaatari refugee camp each week, according to the official website of UNHCR.
    Lisa Schlein

    The U.N. refugee agency is appealing to countries worldwide to provide homes for nearly one-half million of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees. The UNHCR is urging representatives of more than 90 countries attending a ministerial-level conference to grant refuge to the Syrians through resettlement and other humanitarian programs.

    Countries neighboring Syria are bearing the brunt of the Syrian refugee crisis. They are hosting 4.8 million refugees. The U.N. refugee agency says other nations must shoulder some of the burden.

    U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi says his agency aims to resettle one-tenth, or about 480,000 of the refugees over the next three years. He acknowledges it will not be easy, especially in light of the growing resistance by nations in Europe and elsewhere to welcome people fleeing conflict and persecution.

    He says large numbers of desperate Syrians are undertaking dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean Sea in search of refuge in Europe. He indicates the recent EU-Turkey resettlement agreement is unlikely to resolve the Syrian refugee crisis.

    A migrant boy shows a banner saying he wants to travel to Germany rather than camps set up by Turkey, during a protest demanding the opening of the border between Greece and Macedonia in the northern Greek border station of Idomeni, Greece, March 23, 201
    A migrant boy shows a banner saying he wants to travel to Germany rather than camps set up by Turkey, during a protest demanding the opening of the border between Greece and Macedonia in the northern Greek border station of Idomeni, Greece, March 23, 201

    “Our point to both Turkey and the European Union and in fact to the International Community is that legal pathways for admission are a very powerful alternative to dangerous journeys, especially for vulnerable people. So, the sooner those are implemented, the more people will be discouraged from resorting to boats and other means of movement,” he said.

    Besides resettlement, the UNHCR offers other legal pathways for countries to consider. These include academic scholarships, humanitarian visas, accelerated and easier family reunification programs, and medical treatment.

    Ban Ki-moon

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lends his voice to the UNHCR’s appeal for countries to resettle Syrian refugees. He says nations benefit from refugees who bring valuable new skills and make many positive economic contributions to their societies.

    “Attempts to demonize people fleeing conflict and persecution are not only demeaning, offensive, and counterproductive, they are factually wrong. And measures to control the entry of refugees must safeguard the human rights and dignity of each individual person,” he said.

    The Syrian refugee crisis is the world’s largest since World War II. The UNHCR reports countries have offered more than 179,0000 resettlement places for Syrian refugees since 2013. It says it hopes more pledges will be forthcoming during the conference. It adds this is a global crisis that needs a global response.

     

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Dave from: USA
    March 30, 2016 12:17 PM
    Funny how on the other hand the UN has not dont anything about and has actually perpetuated Palestinians living in refugee camps for 60 years. Even in countries they were born in.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora