UNHCR chief promises new resources for refugees in Turkey

Head of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says he will seek additional resources for refugees in Turkey

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.

The United Nations' refugee agency will seek additional resources for Turkey, the world's largest host of refugees, and push for more resettlement, its head said on Saturday, as the civil war in Syria is set to enter its sixth year.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called for a "massive resettlement" of Syrian and other refugees within Europe to distribute hundreds of thousands of people amid the largest movement of refugees since World War Two.

"We will do whatever we can to help the Turkish government find additional resources for people who are living here under temporary protection to make their lives as good as we can," Filippo Grandi, who took the helm at the UNHCR this month, told reporters in Istanbul.

"We will work on other aspects as well ... We will work on more resettlement opportunities," he said after meeting refugees at camps near the Syrian border in his first visit as the commissioner of the agency.

Syrian refugees, escaping the violence in their country, fled Syria in large numbers following the escalation of the Syrian Civil War in 2012.

One of their most preferred destinations was neighbouring Turkey, which hosts the most Syrian refugees in the world according to the registration records of the United Nations.

Turkey has reportedly spent more than a record $8 billion of its own resources on the refugees.

Grandi also praised Turkey’s plans to provide more work permits to refugees in the country, calling them a "very courageous and important gesture ... Work permits will help people live a better life, whether they'll stay here long or short."

TRTWorld, Reuters