The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) hosted a one-day conference in Geneva with high-level officials to address the Syrian conflict crisis.
In a statement made during the conference, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon noted that "We are here to address the biggest refugee and displacement crisis of our time...This demands an exponential increase in global solidarity."
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) March 30, 2016
92 countries in attendance
The conference was attended by 92 countries, and representatives were present from both governmental and nongovernmental organizations. UNHCR's High Commissioner Filippo Grandi hosted the conference and urged that everyone needed to share in the responsibility of caring for the refugees; the burden should not fall only on the neighboring nations like Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.
Since the crisis began, approximately 4.5 million refugees have fled Syria, while more than 6 million have been displaced internally. The UN Secretary General also acknowledged that ending the conflict would be the best way to help Syrians, but also noted that until that was accomplished, the refugees and the nations in the surrounding area were facing a desperate situation.
There are over 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Get a glimpse into the reality of their daily life: https://t.co/DaXRoetCRn
— Amnesty UK (@AmnestyUK) March 30, 2016
In February, at a conference in London regarding the Syrian crisis, donors pledged $US12 billion to help people and host communities in need, including those within Syria and the surrounding areas. Ki-moon said those who pledged the money need to honor their pledges, but he believes "All countries can do more."
— UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) March 30, 2016
Focus on resettlement programs
Grandi noted that in just 4 months time, a program between Canada and the UNCHR screened, selected, and prepared over 26,000 of the refugees for resettlement. He believes this is possible if nations are more flexible and open to other pathways.
Much of the conference focused on expanding multi-year resettlement programs and working to incorporate countries, that until now, were previously uninvolved in assisting during such crises.
As a result of the conference, it is expected that more pledges and admission locations will be coming this week, but officials fear it will be nowhere near the number needed in the coming months as the crisis in Syria continues.