384,000 refugees in Turkey to need resettlement next year: UNHCR

Syrians, displaced as a result of the deadly earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria two days ago, walk in an open field on the outskirts of the rebel-held town of Jindayris on February 8, 2023. A leading United Nations official called for the facilitation of aid access to rebel-held areas in Syria's northwest, warning that relief stocks will soon be depleted. Rebel-held areas near Turkey's border -- hard hit by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck on Monday -- cannot receive aid from government-held parts of Syria without Damascus's authorization. Bakr ALKASEM / AFP

A total of 384,070 refugees in Turkey are projected to be in need of resettlement in 2024, according to a recent report by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The UNHCR report, titled “The Projected Global Resettlement Needs Assessment for 2024” and released on Monday, has revealed that over 2.4 million refugees globally will be in need of resettlement next year, marking a 20 per cent increase compared to 2023.

“We are witnessing a concerning increase in the number of refugees in need of resettlement in 2024. Resettlement remains a critical lifeline for those most at risk and with specific needs,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “I ask all states with the means to step up and provide sustainable and multi-year resettlement commitments to offer safety and protection to those in need and to share the international community’s responsibility for refugees.”

According to the UNHCR report, Syrian refugees continue to face the highest resettlement needs, with around 754,000 individuals across the globe requiring urgent assistance through resettlement.

Turkey continues to host the largest refugee population in the world, mainly from Syria as well as Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and other countries, the report said, adding that their situation was further exacerbated by earthquakes that occurred in February 2023 which affected the lives of approximately 5.75 million people including 1.75 million refugees.

According to 2022 annual monitoring report released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), there are more than 5.2 million foreign nationals present in Turkey, 3.9 millions of whom are seeking international protection. 

Turkey, under its temporary protection regime, has granted 3,535,898 Syrian nationals the right to legally stay in the country. The vast majority, 3,488,373 of them, live outside camps, while 47,525 Syrians reside in seven camps, the IOM said.

Anti-migrant and anti-refugee sentiment has been on the rise, and Syrians have been blamed for the social and economic woes of the country. Leaders of opposition parties have promised to send Syrians back home if they come to power. 

Due to public pressure, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who long pursued an open-door policy toward refugees, signaled a change in stance, saying his government is making efforts for the dignified return of Syrians to their homeland.

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