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UNHCR: after visiting Syria, Grandi calls upon US to resume refugees resettlements programs

BEIRUT, FEBRUARY 3 –  The head of the United Nations refugee agency today called upon the United States to resume its resettlement programs while warning developed countries in Europe, the US and Australia against politicizing the issue of refugees, stressing that the move risked undermining the principle of international solidarity with those fleeing war and persecution.

“These are people that flee from danger, they’re not dangerous themselves,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi told reporters in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut following a four-day visit to Syria, where he witnessed first-hand the massive destruction caused by nearly six years of conflict.

“We have serious concerns, and these are not new concerns, we’ve had them for some time, that the refugee issue in the industrialized world – in Europe, the US, Australia – is very politicized. It shouldn’t be,” Mr. Grandi said, urging rich countries to show generosity to refugees, rather than regarding them as a threat.

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mr. Grandi was the first senior UN official to visit Syria since Turkey and Russia brokered a ceasefire last month. Mr. Grandi said that the recent decision by the United States to suspend its refugee resettlement programme would negatively impact the most vulnerable individuals.

“Resettlement means taking refugees from places like Lebanon, where they are already refugees, selecting the most vulnerable and taking them to other places,” he said. “If we weaken that programme, as has been done in the United States, this is a very dangerous weakening of the international solidarity for refugees.”

UNHCR estimates that 20,000 refugees in precarious circumstances might have been resettled to the US in the 120 days covered by the suspension set out in an Executive Order signed one week ago by President Donald Trump.  Mr. Grandi expressed his hope that the US would resume resettlements following its internal review of the programme.

On the issue of refugees returning to Syria, the High Commissioner said that while many were keen to go home, the political and security situation in the country currently made it impossible for large numbers to do so. “People need to return eventually to Syria, and we all agree that that’s the ideal solution. But we need to be patient,” Mr. Grandi said. “More progress needs to be made politically, then economically and infrastructure-wise in order for conditions to be there to have large returns.” (@OnuItalia)

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Alessandra Baldini e’ stata la prima donna giornalista parlamentare per l’Ansa, poi corrispondente a Washington e responsabile degli uffici Ansa di New York e Londra. Dirige OnuItalia.

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About Alessandra Baldini

Alessandra Baldini e’ stata la prima donna giornalista parlamentare per l’Ansa, poi corrispondente a Washington e responsabile degli uffici Ansa di New York e Londra. Dirige OnuItalia. Contact: Website | Twitter | More Posts

1 Comment on UNHCR: after visiting Syria, Grandi calls upon US to resume refugees resettlements programs

  1. Genocidal child victim life of Sudan in world

    In morning he and she wake up found Very side of her and his side up down plant dropping thousand of bomb falling from sky and very side you can the sound of guns very where very place there are militants with horses and camel back of them government army burn villages took very in villages and found his self no mother father sisters brothers had been killed by militants and on ground very Place you found the dead body the result of that when he and she start to go out Sudan to find better life like Europe menderian sea ​​ate thousand of them those whom reached in Europe no body care to them people eating in garbage no education no paper they movement in road like animal and cooperation like you are not human being and those whom went to Middle East there life is like goats and sheep putting them in gate they take out the time what they want this mean put u in the place without any reason and this really culture slave trade so what is need to afrcians do is that unity respect and back to home to liberate our land life in peaceful way or unless our life will be slave forever but no keep up for struggle I came back dear friends in Facebook I miss ua lot

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