More than two million refugees will need to be resettled in third countries in 2023

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More than two million refugees will need to be resettled in third countries in 2023, an increase of 36% compared to this year, according to a report published this Tuesday by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The last twelve months have been marked by tragic events in Afghanistan and Ukraine, which have increased population displacements and, consequently, resettlement needs.

“We are seeing a substantial increase (of refugees) and in the absence of peace and prospects for voluntary returns, there is more and more need,” said Shabia Mantoo, spokesman for the agency.

The more than 27 million refugees in the world have fled war, violence, conflict or persecution and are in need of international protection. But some are especially vulnerable. Among them are people who cannot return to their countries of origin, who are not safe in neighboring countries or who have special needs and disabilities.

“Of all the refugees submitted by UNHCR for resettlement last year, 37% were people with legal and physical protection needs, 32% survivors of violence or torture and 17% women, adolescents and children at risk,” Mantoo said.

In 2021, more than 1.4 million people needed to resettle in a safe country, but only 39,266 refugees made it. UNHCR asks States for predictable and multi-year commitments and to speed up the processing of resettlements and exit agreements, so that refugees do not have to continue to languish in countries of asylum without seeing the end of their ordeal.

Syrian refugees, the most numerous

According to UNHCR, the largest number of people who have to be transferred in 2023 will come from countries of asylum on the African continent, closely followed by the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.

By country of origin, Syrians are the most numerous. Of the nearly 5.7 million Syrian refugees, almost 777,800 are estimated to need resettlement in 2023, a 27% increase from the previous year reflecting the disastrous effects of the pandemic on an already highly vulnerable population.

The Syrians are followed by the Afghans. The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan deteriorated further in 2021, prompting UNHCR to issue a notice to stop forced returns, including for Afghans previously deemed ineligible for international protection.

Next are nationals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and Myanmar, which has more than 114,000 Rohingya, most of whom are stateless.

Resettlement in Latin America

In America, 77,000 refugees, 75% of them Venezuelanswill need to resettle in 2023, which is 40% compared to this year.

At the end of 2021, there were more than six million refugees and migrants from Venezuela outside their country of origin. The nations of Latin America and the Caribbean host 84% of them, about five million.

Despite the generosity of host communities and governments, refugees and migrants face growing challenges from rising unemployment and poverty, difficulties accessing education and basic services, and serious protection risks. . The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the vulnerability and care dependency of this population.

UNHCR anticipates that political, economic and social developments in Venezuela will continue to provoke movements out of the country and into the region. Despite initiatives to provide Venezuelans with legal status, a considerable number of them remain in an irregular situation and face complex protection problems. In this context, UNHCR assures that resettlement is a “critical component of the protection strategy for this population”, with 58,463 Venezuelans who will need resettlement in 2023.

Resettlement Countries

In 2021, only 39,266 refugees managed to find a place of resettlement.

USA it remained the country with the highest number of arrivals, with 11,554 people, an increase of almost 71% compared to 2020. Canada received 5,825 refugees, a 66% increase from 2020, followed by Germany, with 5,363 arrivals, (284% increase). Rounding out the top five are Sweden (5,036) and Norway (2,875).

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