WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says it is “actively considering” ways to be more responsive to the global migrant crisis, including refugee resettlement.
Peter Boogaard, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said the United States is in contact with countries in the Middle East and Europe grappling with the influx of more than 340,000 people from the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Many are fleeing the civil war in Syria and areas in Iraq under the control of Islamic State militants.
He did not elaborate on specific measures, but said they included “refugee resettlement.” He noted that the U.S. has provided over $4 billion in humanitarian assistance since the Syrian crisis began, and over $1 billion in assistance this year.
In related news, UN official says US and others must take in refugees.
GENEVA (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s special representative on migration says it’s “not enough” for countries like the United States and wealthy Persian Gulf states to give money to help Syrian refugees — they must take them in, too.
Peter Sutherland told reporters in Geneva that Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have taken in some 4 million Syrian refugees.
Sutherland said: “Buying your way out of this is not satisfactory.”
He added that the U.N. refugee agency and other aid groups are vastly underfunded. The UNHCR says it has received only 41 percent of its funding needs for the Syria crisis this year.
Sutherland said: “Proximity doesn’t count, capacity does count, and I do say that taking refugees is separate from giving money.”