Syrian Refugee Crisis Continues
The Syrian war is raging on and innocent people are being forced to leave their homes behind in order to find safety. International governments are doing their bit too to provide some form of relief for the refugees. Canada has now implemented an emergency relief fund for the Syrian refugees.
The International Development Minister of Canada, Christian Paradis, has said that a Syrian refugee fund will be set up and that the fund will match donations made for up to $100 million. The fund will assist conflict-affected people of Syria and neighbouring countries. The fund will provide basic needs for the refugees; food, clothing and healthcare. The fund will also match finds that are donated to recognised Canadian charities. Paradis also said that this is, “an opportunity to put a vehicle where Canadians will be able to channel their generosity.”
The emergency fund will take effect immediately and it will be in place until the 31st of December. Paradis also said that the government was deploying more resources in Beruit and Amman. There would also be more people on the ground to make sure that the processing of refugees was accelerated. Paradis also pointed out the backlog had been reduced by 50%.
An activist group has called the fund a “band aid” fund but the New Democrats and the Liberals have welcomed the fund. The fund will be able to provide relief for many people. As of last week Wednesday and Thursday, some 7600 refugees from the Syrian war have entered Macedonia from Greece. Greece’s economy is not strong and will take further strain with the constant influx of Syrian refugees. This fund will be able to alleviate some of these pressures.
The $100 million that will be given to the fund is in addition to the $508.5 million that the Canadian government has already funded to the Syrian crisis since 2012. A few high-profile Canadians have also stepped forward in order to help the situation. Former immigration minister Ron Atkey, former NDP leader Ed Broadbent and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour have suggested a few ideas.
• Canada should send Canadian visa officers into the field immediately
• The visa application process should be streamlined to make it more effective
• The international community should work together and convene for an international conference, possibly in Geneva, and work on negotiating a ceasefire in Syria
To date Canada has taken 1000 refugees in this year and only 188 have been government sponsored.