Various European countries and the United States - in cooperation with the UNHCR - have put together a grand plan to accommodate Syrian refugees. The plan will provide refuge for 30,000 people fleeing the war. It is a mere drop in the human ocean of almost 3 million people who have been displaced by the conflict, but a qualified source explains that considering "the absolutely tragic situation, any kind of effort is welcome." The source adds that, however, it is "obvious that plans for the next two years should be based on three times the number of refugees that will be assisted in 2014" and that " 30,000 is the number of people who cross the Syrian borders into neighboring countries on average every week."
From now until December, Germany will open its borders to half of the refugees included in the plan for 2014 - thanks in part to an innovative project that involves various private entities who are mobilized across different Lander. "Some countries will grant refugees political asylum, others will guarantee temporary entry on humanitarian grounds." In addition to the German government, Austria, Sweden and Norway also offered to help (at least 1,000 Syrians each). Finland, Denmark, France, Ireland, Belgium and Spain have also agreed to accept refugees - in smaller and varying numbers.
Italy, on the other had, has been unanimously praised for its Mare Nostrum operation, which might actually have increased the number of refugees that are put on boats in the Mediterranean, but which "was necessary, as demonstrated by the drop in numbers of shipwreck victims in the past three months." The UNHCR continues to stress that rescuing people at sea "is an absolute obligation."
According to information obtained by WikiLao, the UNHCR in Geneva particularly appreciated Italy's decision to double the number of commissions that will establish the refugee status of the immigrants.
(Photo: Getty Images/Jeff J. Mitchell)
May 26, 2014