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letter from the representative


Canada’s “durable solution”


On February 27, 2016, the 25,000th Syrian refugee stepped off a plane in Montreal. All of us at UNHCR recognize this as an important milestone to be celebrated for a Canadian government program that is offering thousands of vulnerable Syrian families a chance at a new life.


Resettlement of refugees is considered a “durable solution,” one of three


UNHCR-mandated options (voluntary repatriation to the refugees’ home country and local integration into the host country represent the other two solutions) to help refugees regain their lives.


We should be proud of Canada’s refugee resettlement program, which has its roots as far back as the late 18th century when thousands of African Americans–“Black Loyalists”–joined the tens of


thousands of American


refugees who had supported the British cause during the American Revolution. After the First World War, Canada welcomed many Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Soviet


invasion, and again after the Second World War various groups


of refugees found a new home in Canada. Between 1979 and 1980 Canada accepted 60,000 Indochinese refugees. Some of those now successful former Vietnamese refugees are volunteering today to help Syrian families resettle in Canada.


But of the 14.4 million refugees of concern to UNHCR around the world, less than one per cent is submitted for resettlement. Right now there are only 28 states taking part in UNHCR’s resettlement program. The U.S. is the world’s top resettlement country, while Australia, Canada and the Nordic countries also provide a significant number of places every year.


In this issue of UNHCR Magazine, you’ll read about UNHCR Canada’s resettlement efforts and the story of a remarkable young Syrian and his family’s struggle to find a new life in Regina, Saskatchewan. We thank you for continuing to support UNHCR and hope that you will share with others our mandate to protect the rights and well-being of refugees around the world. «


FURIO DE ANGELIS UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE IN CANADA


Bes Best regards,gards,


UNHCR / 03


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