Increase in the number of privately sponsored refugees

Canadians are fortunate to have the opportunity to personally contribute towards offering refugees a safe and permanent home, through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

This program, which is unique in the world, enables individual Canadians do their part to honour our international obligations towards refugees, in addition to the efforts of the government.

Amina and her family waited nearly 7 years in a refugee camp, although sponsors were waiting for them in Canada.

For many years, the willingness of Canadians to sponsor refugees has far exceeded the numbers that the government has been willing to process.  This has led to a huge backlog of refugees waiting in dangerous and precarious situation overseas, even though Canadians are ready and willing to support them here.  (At the end of 2009 there were over 16,000 sponsored refugees waiting in the backlog).

Good news: in March 2010 the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration promised to increase by 2,000 the numbers of refugees that private sponsorship groups can assist, and is encouraging more groups to sponsor refugees. In 2009, there was a significant increase in the number of privately sponsored refugees resettled to Canada: 5,036, the highest number in a year since 1992.

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