Australia will continue to play a leading role in global efforts to assist refugees.
Today I represented Australia at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees hosted by President Obama in New York.
With more than 65 million forcibly displaced people in the world today, the Summit was an important and timely forum for world leaders to commit to an effective response to this complex global problem.
Australia already has one of the most generous and compassionate resettlement programmes in the world. In addition to our existing programmes, Australia will:
- Provide an extra $130 million over the next three years to further increase support for refugees and communities in key countries of first asylum, such as Jordan, Lebanon and Pakistan. This support will help displaced people return home as quickly as possible. This is in addition to the recently announced $220 million Syrian humanitarian assistance package;
- Maintain our Humanitarian Program at the increased level of 18,750 places from 2018-19 onwards. This is in addition to the 12,000 places we have committed for refugees from Syria and Iraq;
- Dedicate a minimum number of places over the next three years to displaced people from specific protracted refugee situations – this multi-year commitment will better support UNHCR’s planning and management;
- Create new pathways for refugees to resettle in Australia through the establishment of 1,000 places under a Community Support Program, where communities and businesses can sponsor applications and support new arrivals, leading to better settlement outcomes; and
- Participate in a US-led multilateral program to resettle refugees from Central America.
These commitments build on Australia’s recently announced $220 million commitment to help address the humanitarian and resilience needs in Syria and its neighbouring countries.
They would not have been possible without Australia’s strong border management policies and high levels of public confidence in our well-managed migration system. Without this confidence, we would not have been able to increase our intake of refugees – the world’s third largest permanent resettlement program – by more than 35 per cent.