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.

GENEVA – 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 UNCHR 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.

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