January 16, 2013
Minister Jason Kenney and Parliamentary Secretary Bob Dechert at a refugee camp in Turkey on Jan. 14, 2013.
Canada will resettle up to 5,000 refugees currently in Turkey by 2018, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced during his current visit to Turkey.
“With escalating violence in the region, more people are seeking protection in Turkey, and our commitment to resettle 5,000 mostly Iraqi and Iranian refugees in Canada will help Turkey deal with this growing pressure,” said Minister Kenney.
Canada’s acceptance of Iranian and Iraqi refugees will help ease the overall burden on Turkey, freeing up resources for the current influx of Syrian persons seeking protection in the country. Canada will continue to work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help the UNHCR address the needs of refugees and other vulnerable persons in Turkey.
“Canada has long been a place of refuge for those fleeing persecution, and we are proud to continue this tradition today,” said Kenney. To date, some 12,000 Iraqi refugees have been resettled in Canada, mostly out of Syria. Canada remains committed to its 2009 and 2010 pledges to resettle up to 20,000 Iraqi refugees in need of protection. Today’s commitment will help bring us closer to that goal and will also mark the first time we make a specific multi-year commitment to resettling refugees out of Turkey.
After three years of increases, as of this year Canada aims to resettle up to 14,500 refugees and other individuals in vulnerable circumstances.