(Ottawa) The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has already sent more than 40,000 text messages to Syrian refugees who may be candidates to come to Canada, but only 3,000 had responded to the call on November 26.
During a technical briefing in Ottawa Wednesday, government representatives, however, that such data five days are almost “archaeological” in the context of the current process, which Ottawa wishes to host 25,000 refugees by the end of February.
Moreover, it often happens that refugees declined offers to move away from their homeland, hoping to return at the end of a conflict.
In all, 1,801 candidates were recommended by UNHCR to Canadian officials in Jordan and Lebanon November 26. These figures do not include Turkey, which grants itself the certificate of refugees to millions of people on its territory.
Canada wishes to identify by the end of the year 25,000 refugees who come to the country by March 2016. Under a regulatory change made by the Harper government during the election campaign, the Syrians who are sponsored privately are exempt from the requirement to be recognized as refugees by UNHCR or a third State.
Forty percent of the 25,000 Syrian refugees, 10,000 are privately sponsored. Eight thousand of them must arrive in Canada by the end of the year. Government officials said Wednesday that they will be chosen from all records that are already in the hands of the Department of Immigration.
Furthermore, it remains unclear when the first charter flights arrive in the country. In a call for proposals from industry, Ottawa stated that these first flights should arrive by the middle of next week. The government has not been able to confirm this information.
Since November 4, 271 refugees have arrived in the country on commercial flights. The vast majority, 208, sponsored at the private level.