Leaders’ Summit on Refugees

In September, the UN Refugee Agency welcomed important new support committed to by government leaders from Canada, the US, and 48 other states and countries, who joined UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees.

Convened by President Obama in New York, the Summit was co-hosted by the US, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Sweden, Ethiopia and Jordan, as well as the UN Secretary General UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

The Summit sought firm pledges in the areas of improved access to education and job opportunities for refugees, resettlement and other forms of admission, and humanitarian finance.

The leaders increased their contributions to humanitarian appeals in 2016 by $4.5 billion, including $1 billion from the US. These contributions include helping over a million refugee children get an education and one million adult refugees to get training, new skills or find a job. As well, the countries have agreed to roughly doubling the number of refugees they collectively admit to more than 360,000. The White House reports that these significant increases in refugee admissions are based on family reunification, scholarships, or humanitarian visas.

Another outcome is the Emergency Resettlement Country Joint Support Mechanism (ERCM) – a joint project of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) – which will provide both financial and technical assistance to countries that are interested in establishing or expanding refugee resettlement programs.


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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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