IRELAND WILL ACCEPT 90 Syrian refugees this year, the government has told the United Nation’s refugee agency.
Most will be resettled from host countries in the Middle East and North African region. According to the Department of Justice, they could possibly come from over-populated camps in Lebanon and Jordan.
“This number will include provision for up to four medical cases whose medical needs can only be met through resettlement,” a statement to TheJournal.ie revealed. ”The UNHCR has begun the process of identifying medical cases for consideration by the Irish authorities.”
During 2013, 35 Syrian refugees came to Ireland from Syrian UNHCR refugee camps.
That number included one medical case, in which a family of four of Iraqi/Palestinian origin arrived in July. They have been resettled in Cork.
Eight Afghan refugee families and two single Afghan men arrived in Ireland on 7 November 2013 from Damascus, Syria. The entire group of 31 people is currently living in a reception centre while participating in a language and orientation programme.
The 31 Afghan refugees was admitted under an EU funded Preparatory Action for Emergency Resettlement.
Separately, there were 38 applications for asylum from those claiming to be from Syria in 2013. So far this year, there have been five such applications from Syrians.
In 2012, fewer than 10 Syrians had applied for refugee status in Ireland.
Earlier this week, the UK agreed to take up to 500 refugees after a battle with the UNHCR for not signing on to its ‘quota’ programme.
The deal between the government and the UN will see Britain take in some of the most vulnerable and traumatised victims, including women, children and sexual assault survivors.
A number of agencies and charities have been critical of the international community’s lack of response to the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria and its surrounding countries.
Currently, there are 2,386,087 Syrian refugees, with millions more displaced internally. The UNHCR has called on more countries to establish refugee resettlement programmes.
Germany has offered more than 10,000 places to Syrian refugees, the most of any country.