Canada funds international refugee resettlement efforts

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen recently  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.

“We are working with other government, international organizations, civil society and the private sector to find new and innovative approaches to offer solutions for refugees,” Hussen said  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, 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.

Goodale Announces New Money for Emerson Border Crossing

Earlier this month, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced $30,000 in new funding for the community of Emmerson-Franklin Manitoba. The community has assumed extra costs associated with asylum-seekers crossing from the USA into Canada.

“The key thing is to make sure that our agencies on the ground… have resources necessary to do the job,” Goodale said in press reports.  Migrants have been crossing through fields, and open land because of the Safe Third Country agreement, which, forces them to make a claim in the first safe country they enter.

The Liberal government has faced pressure to punish illegal border crossers.  Goodale says such charges would have laid after the refugee claim is dealt with.  “Charges in relation to the crossing of the border cannot be laid until after the case of the particular individual under immigration rules has finally been disposed of,” he said.

Migrants have fled the US in the wake of President Trump’s crackdown on immigration.