In a joint statement, the UN and IOM announced plans to restart resettlement processes. Due to Covid-19, there had been a temporary hold placed on resettlement travel. This delayed the departures of 10,000 refugees to resettlement countries. Resettlement is the transfer of refugees from an asylum country to another State that has agreed to admit them and ultimately grant them permanent settlement. During the temporary hold, the IOM, UNHCR, and partners continued to put in process procedures to facilitate the resettlement as well as resettling emergency and urgent cases. At the same time, resettlement countries adapted their processing procedures to ensure flexibility and continuity of the resettlement process during uncertain times.
The UN and IOM expressed concerns on the gap between the number of refugees in need of resettlement and the places made available by governments around the world is of concern. In 2018, there were 20.4 million but less than one percent of refugees were resettled each year.
Only a small number of States take part in UNHCR’s resettlement programme. In recent years, the US has been the world’s top resettlement country followed by Canada, Germany, the UK, Australia and the Nordic countries.
Read the UN/IOM Press Statement here.