Canada to Accept 10,000 Syrian Refugees Over 3 Years

January 12, 2015  

Ten thousand Syrian refugees will be brought to Canada over the next three years, Canada’s Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has announced.

The announcement, which was made last week, comes in response to a global appeal from the United Nations (UN) Refugee Agency to resettle 100,000 Syrians. The UN said war-torn Syria produces more refugees than any country in the world.

Alexander said up to 3,000 refugees from Iraq would also be granted asylum in Canada.

The renewed commitment to take in refugees shows “Canada is doing more,” he added, quoted by Sun News.

He also announced $90 million in humanitarian aid for the region, which has been under siege from Islamic State (ISIS), a terror group that claims to have established a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.

Canada promised to accept 1,300 Syrian refugees in 2014, 1,100 of whom have arrived, Alexander said.

Canada will give priority to ethnic groups in danger, including Christians and Yazidis, to people who are persecuted because of their sexual preference and to victims of sexual violence.

Some advocates have raised concerns that Canada will give preference to Christians in Syria at the expense of Muslims, to which Alexander’s spokesman replied, “We make no apologies for putting the focus on people in need, some of whom are being persecuted based on their religious beliefs. Our priority is and will continue to be on those who are at risk because they are a religious minority, a sexual minority, or victims of rape.”

The UN warned last year that Syrians could soon overtake Afghans as the world’s biggest refugee population.

The number of Afghan refugees was 2.6 million at the end of 2012, but as of February 2014, there were nearly 2.5 million registered as refugees, about one-half of them children.

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