UN: Only 4.7 Percent of Refugees in Need Were Resettled Last Year

Young refugees from Afghanistan are instructed by trainer Philipp Rokasky at the AMS training company for metal technology and welders in Saxony on Feb. 14, 2019. (Oliver Killig/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

A new United Nations report found problems in the quest to resettle refugees, with just 55,692 of about 1.2 million refugees being accepted into a host country last year.

That amounts to 4.7 percent of forcibly displaced persons finding a new home, with refugee trends reaching record levels.

The UN Refugee Agency said the most refugee referrals are related to people from Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, and Afghanistan.

The countries taking the most of these refugees were Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Uganda.

“Sixty-eight per cent of submissions last year were for survivors of violence and torture, those with legal and physical protection needs, and women and girls at risk. More than half, 52 percent, of all resettlement submissions in 2018 were for children,” UNHCR said.

“Resettlement remains a life-saving tool to ensure the protection of those most at risk. It is an instrument of protection, and a tangible mechanism for governments and communities across the world to share responsibility for responding to forced displacement crises,” the agency added. “Resettlement and other complementary pathways for admission, is a key objective of the Global Compact on Refugees, to help reduce the impact of large refugee situations on host countries.”

The Global Compact on Refugees, proposed last year by High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, listed as its objectives “ease the pressures on host countries, enhance refugee self-reliance, expand access to third-country solutions, support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity.” Eighty-five percent of the world’s refugees falling under the agency’s mandate are hosted by developing countries, putting significant pressure on already strained resources.

The compact calls on member states to offer more locations in which refugees may be resettled; the UN is also trying to get more countries more involved with hosting refugees or facilitating their safe passage.

UNHCR estimates that 1.4 million refugees currently spread among 65 host countries will need resettlement this year.