More than 1.9 million people are refugees in need of resettlement worldwide today—more than any time since World War Two—and the Christian Reformed Church has been doing our part to help welcome and advocate for refugees.
The Canadian government recently released the numbers of immigrants and refugees our country will be welcoming in 2017. But the numbers don’t match verbal commitments government representatives had made earlier—the target for Government-Assisted Refugees is just 7,500, less than a third of last year’s target numbers.
Now is not a time for Canada to slacken on our commitment to being a world leader in refugee resettlement. These new targets hinder efforts to resettle vulnerable refugees from all areas of the world. Will you contact your MP to voice your concern?
In twelve short months, Canada has successfully resettled more than 30,000 Syrian refugees through private and government sponsorships. This is cause for celebration! Unfortunately, the 2017 targets tell a different story.
We must also not forget that Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees are still outnumbered by other refugees. In fact, 39% of the global refugee population currently lives in various parts of Africa such as Ethiopia and Kenya. Many have been waiting in limbo for years or even decades. (Learn more here.)
Here’s what we urge the Government to do in order to respond to this global need and successfully resettle more refugees:
Address delays and backlogs for refugees from all areas of the world;
Work to strengthen partnerships and good communication between the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship; Settlement agencies; Sponsorship Agreement Holders; and Private Sponsors; and
Commit greater resources to resettlement agencies and partners to promote positive integration outcomes.
Lastly, we must insist that private sponsorship is a contribution made above and beyond the government’s efforts, rather than one that replaces government commitments.
Urge your MP to uphold the principles of fairness and equity in responding to refugees around the world and ensuring adequate resources for resettlement.
Learn more on the website of the Canadian Council for Refugees.
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