/

UNHCR wants world to take in 400,000 more Syrian refugees, hits U.S., Europe tone of debate

AFP-JIJI

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Tuesday he will ask countries to step forward and agree to take in another 400,000 Syrian refugees.

On his first visit to Washington since being appointed to head the U.N. refugee effort, Filippo Grandi said the world must do more to end the crisis.

“On March 30, I’m going to chair a meeting in Geneva at which I ask the international community to take 10 percent of all the Syrian refugees,” he said.

“Ten percent is a lot of people. It’s more than 400,000 people,” he told reporters, on the fifth anniversary of Syria’s bloody civil war.

More than 4 million Syrians have fled their war-torn country since the conflict erupted, and more than 6 million are displaced within its borders.

Neighboring Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan are struggling to cope with the exodus and the onward flow has created a political and humanitarian crisis in Europe.

Canada and Germany have been praised for stepping up to welcome tens of thousands as refugees, but others, including the United States, have been criticized.

Historically the United States has been by far the world’s leading host of refugees, and it still is for those fleeing many other conflicts around the world.

But, amid a bitter atmosphere in the run-up to November’s presidential election, Washington has struggled to offer new homes to desperate Syrians.

U.S. President Barack Obama ordered that 10,000 be admitted during the 2016 fiscal year, but halfway through the period only 1,115 have been processed.

Grandi was careful not to criticize his hosts in Washington, praising the leading U.S. role in hosting refugees of other nationalities.

But he lamented the tone of the debate in both the U.S. and Europe, where anti-immigration politicians have claimed that terrorists hide among Muslim refugees.

Grandi complained that on a visit to the European parliament he had heard “language we haven’t heard since the 30s” from opponents of resettlement.

But he added that the new 400,000 target figure could be met in part by means short of the full resettlement package that the United States offered.

Rather than providing Syrian refugees with new lives and permanent residence, some countries may offer temporary jobs, scholarships or humanitarian visas.

For this, he said, his office would work with private firms and universities in partnership with states, to try to reduce the pressure on Syria’s neighbors.

That, he argued, is the least the world can expect — at least until the tentative Syrian peace process underway in Geneva leads to a negotiated peace.

“We’re really observing one of the worst political failures in modern history,” Grandi complained.

“The failure of the parties to the conflict. The failure of the regional powers. The failure of the global powers to get them to come to an agreement.

“In the absence of that — and we have to be hopeful — it is important to show solidarity in every possible way,” he said.

  • Jr. Mackeltom

    The world should cooperate in building peace in Syria, not taking in them. If we take them in what about our people ? We cannot treat every single human as one, we also have our own civilisation, our own European heritage and our own problems.

    We should not help men who are cowards, but instead provide protection for women and children, and with the cooperation of men we should build Syria.

    Civil war in Syria didn’t happen because of us Europeans or because of the Americans. It was their own political faliure which lead campaigns against Assad and so civil war broke out.

    Anti-immigration pressure is growing furiously in the advanced world. I highly doubt that political parties supporting anti-immigration would remain silent if anymore moves are to be taken by the present governments to allow more immigrants in.

  • solomon king

    why not let them go to SAUDI, IRAN , and to the arab countries.. they are their MUSLIM BROTHERS

  • solomon king

    NOT ONE HELPS THME BUT THE WEST YET THEY ARE THERE BUT TO COUSE TROUBLE, UNGRATEFUL.. NO USE TO HELP THESE PEOPLE.. THEY ARE UNCIVILIZED..

  • solomon king

    NOT ONE HELPS THME BUT THE WEST YET THEY ARE THERE BUT TO COUSE TROUBLE, UNGRATEFUL.. NO USE TO HELP THESE PEOPLE.. THEY ARE UNCIVILIZED..

  • solomon king

    IF YOU HELP THEM GIVE THEM YOU KIND HANDS AND HEART.. THEY WILL RESPONSE BY CUTTING YOUR HANDS AND YOUR HEAD AND TAKE YOUR HEART AND EAT IT

  • solomon king

    IF YOU HELP THEM GIVE THEM YOU KIND HANDS AND HEART.. THEY WILL RESPONSE BY CUTTING YOUR HANDS AND YOUR HEAD AND TAKE YOUR HEART AND EAT IT

  • solomon king

    THE WEST THE WORLD CAN DO SO MUCH …AND THE RES T OF HUMANITY ARE KIND AND COMPASSIONATE… THE PROBLEM WITH THE MUSLIM REFUGEES ..THY ARE NOT ONLY UNCIVILIZED BUT THEY ARE MONSTERS… THEY ARE EIEVIL… THEY ARE BARBARIC…LOOK AT THE ISIS..LOOK AND READ THE LIFE AND TIME OF THEIR IDOL MOHAMMAD… LK AT THE QU RAN AND SHARIAH LAW.. IF YOU DONT FOLLOW THEIR LAW THEY WILL CUT YOUR HEAD. READ THE VERSES.. AND CHECK YOUTUBE WHAT THEY HAVE THTY HAD DONE TO THE WORLD.. THIS PEOPLE KILLED 270 MILLIONS PEOPLE… SINCE THE INTRODUCTIONS OF THEIR RELIGIONS… THIS IS TRUE.. SO SCARY.. 3 TIMES THE POPULATIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES…