At a conference of the German Interior Ministers on 12 June 2014, it was decided to extend the Humanitarian Admission Programme (HAP) for Syrian refugees by an additional 10,000 places. Germany previously committed to providing 10,000 places for Syrian refugees under this same programme in 2013 and 2014, now bringing its commitment to receive 20,000 Syrians in total. In addition, fifteen federal states in Germany have launched individual sponsorship programmes for Syrian nationals with relatives in Germany. To date, some 5,500 visas have been issued under this scheme, while some 6,000 have arrived under the HAP.
UNHCR has urged States to consider a number of solutions that can provide secure, urgent and effective protection for Syrian refugees in need. It is anticipated that in the coming years, there will be increasing numbers of vulnerable Syrian refugees who will be in need of resettlement, humanitarian admission, or other programmes. Such programmes could include, for example, enabling Syrian relatives to join family members, creating scholarships for Syrian students, and offering medical evacuation for refugees with serious health conditions that require life-saving treatment.
UNHCR has urged other States to join Germany in offering resettlement and other forms of admission for refugees from Syria towards the multi-annual goal of 130,000 by the end 2016. Germany’s offer of an additional 10,000 places now brings the total places pledged for Syrian refugees globally to well over 33,000 places, exceeding the goal set by UNHCR to secure at least 30,000 places for Syrian refugees by the end of 2014. Germany’s contribution also sets an important precedent for States as they begin making plans for offering additional places in 2015-2016 to help reach the next benchmark of 100,000 places for Syrian refugees.
For more information, visit Focus on Syria.