NGO asks Norway to take in 5,000 more refugees next year

RefugeesPhoto: Julie Ricard / Unsplash
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2020 will be the year in which the fewest quota refugees received a new homeland in this millennium. The Norwegian Refugee Council (Flyktninghjelpen, NRC) believes that Norway must accept more refugees next year.

“A historically low number of asylum seekers came to Norway, and the municipalities have spare capacity. 

“We should thus increase the number of quota refugees, not reduce the numbers. As the Progress Party (FRP) has also previously pointed out, this is about the most vulnerable refugees,” Secretary-General Jan Egeland of the Norwegian Refugee Council noted.

The pandemic’s impact

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, states that only 15,425 quota refugees were settled this year up to September. 

The cause? The ongoing corona pandemic. 

“We were dealing with a disappointingly low ceiling for settlement in the first place, a quota of less than 50,000 for the whole year. 

“And this was further affected by the fact that COVID-19 postponed departures and put some settlement programs on pause,” Assistant High Commissioner Gillian Triggs said.

UNHCR’s appeal

UNHCR urges countries around the world to settle as many refugees as possible in the last weeks of the year and maintain the quota targets for 2021.

“With today’s levels, it will be the lowest settlement in almost two decades,” Triggs added.

The Norwegian Refugee Council supported the UNHCR’s appeal, pointing out that there is an international need for almost 1.5 million quota refugee settlements next year.

Out of the refugees who have been taken in so far this year, 41% are refugees from Syria and 16% from Congo. The rest come from 47 different countries.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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