Countries need to accept more refugees for resettlement

Refugees in Tunisia

The number of refugees in need of third country resettlement is expected to reach 780,000 over the next three years according to the UN Refugee agency UNHCR.

The increase is against only 80,000 resettlement places available each year.

UNHCR says many vulnerable refugees will remain in an agonizing limbo unless countries increase the number of refugees they can accept for resettlement.

In 2010, UNHCR presented over 108,000 refugees for resettlement but only 73,000 were resettled.

25 countries are currently involved in the resettlement of refugees with United States of America accepting the highest number of refugees for resettlement.

Wei Meng Lim Kabaa is the head of UNHCR's resettlement service.

"What UNHCR would like to see is therefore more countries to come forward to join the resettlement community. Traditional resettlement countries could of course offer more places, increase their quotas. We also would also like new resettlement countries to join in, to come forward with places. And we also would like new resettlement countries who have announced that they will be offering quotas to actually implement and start to admit people into their resettlement programme."

UNHCR says the challenges facing the refugee resettlement programme may become worse this year due to the large numbers of people who have fled ongoing violence and serious human rights abuses in Libya and are now stranded at the Tunisia and Egypt borders.

Duration 30″

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