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About the Syrian Refugee Crisis

As Syria staggers into its fifth year of a brutal civil war, almost 12 million people – half the country’s population — are homeless, including four million refugees outside the country who have little hope of returning to Syria safely.

Half of those uprooted are children who have been traumatized by war, robbed of an education, forced from their homes and now live in appalling conditions in exile.

Syria’s neighbours are struggling with the demands placed on them by the sudden influx of refugees. As of May 2015, there were almost four million registered Syrian refugees in the region, including 1.7 million in Turkey, 1.1 million in Lebanon and 600,000 in Jordan. As conditions deteriorate, with further influxes of refugees in Iraq and Egypt, the entire Middle East is threatened.

Canadians can help prevent a disaster from becoming a catastrophe. Every family that we can resettle is one step closer to a resolution. Refugee sponsorship and international resettlement offer a new life to the most vulnerable; eases the burden on regional host countries and holds out the hope that international pressure might help resolve Syria’s crisis.

The Government of Canada is taking immediate action to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada as quickly as possible, through a five-phase national plan. Canada can and will do more to help Syrian refugees who are desperately seeking safety, by offering them a new home.

The five phases are identifying Syrian refugees to come to Canada, selecting and processing Syrian refugees overseas, transportation to Canada, arrival and welcoming in Canada, and settlement and community integration. Protecting the safety, security, and health of Canadians and refugees is a key factor in guiding the Government of Canada’s actions throughout this initiative.

The government will identify all 25,000 refugees to come to Canada by December 31, 2015. Of those selected, the target is to have 10,000 Syrian refugees arrive in Canada by the end of this year, and the remainder to arrive by the end of February 2016.