March 15, 2017 – Geneva, CH – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen today announced contributions totaling $5.6 million to support global resettlement initiatives. This funding will pay for the recruitment and deployment of refugee experts to work with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in the screening and submission of refugees in need of resettlement. Refugees will have their resettlement applications assessed by UNHCR more quickly, allowing them to start new lives in resettlement countries.
Specifically, Canada will provide the UNHCR with $4 million in response to the UNHCR’s 2017 Global Appeal to the international community for funding to increase its ability to identify refugees in need of resettlement.
In response to the increasing number of refugees around the world, many countries have announced that they will welcome additional Syrian refugees. The UNHCR needs additional funding to substantially increase its capacity to provide referrals, advice and support to countries seeking to offer protection and solutions to refugees.
While in Geneva, Minister Hussen also signed a letter of intent, which will lead to the provision of $1.6 million to the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC).
The Government of Canada has been partnering with the ICMC since 2013 on this Canadian-funded initiative. Through this partnership, the ICMC provides the UNHCR with additional field staff to identify refugees whose best option may be resettlement to Canada. As a result of these efforts, more refugees have been referred for resettlement to Canada.
Canada relies on the UNHCR, other referral organizations and private sponsors to identify refugees for resettlement. A Canadian visa officer makes the final decision on applications once security and medical screening have been completed.