(Image / World Refugee Day, Victoria BC Facebook)

In 2018, Canada resettled the highest amount of refugees in the entire world, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency, the UNHCR.

According to this year’s Global Trends of Forced Displacement report, the UNHCR received 81,300 refugee submissions for over two dozen countries.

While 29 different countries accepted refugees last year, Canada resettled almost a third of the total number, welcoming 28,100 people into its borders.

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A whooping 92,400 refugees were resettled in 2018, with the US accepting the second largest number of people (22,900) while other Commonwealth countries welcomed notable numbers, like Australia (12,700) and the United Kingdom (5,800)

Out of the over 80,000 submissions, 68% of the applications were made by survivors of violence and torture, and those who needed legal and physical protection, particularly vulnerable women and girls.

Moreover, just over half of all of the submissions were for children.

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While refugee resettlement increased in 2018 by 8% – or roughly 75,200 people – compared to 2017, the UN notes that hundreds of thousands of people are still without a much needed host country.

By the end of 2018, the UN estimates that there were 25.9 million refugees worldwide, with 1.4 million in need of resettlement to another state.

“Although this represented an… increase compared with 2017, the gap between needs and actual resettlement places exceeded 90 per cent and continued to grow.”

Closer to home, Victoria will be commemorating the United Nations World Refugee Day by highlighting several events across the city all week.

On Thursday, the community is invited to join Victoria City Hall as acting Mayor Sharmarke Dubow makes the World Refugee Proclamation and the city raises a UN flag to celebrate refugees.

Dubow will be joined by guest speakers Sari Alesh, a violinist from Syria who now calls Victoria home, and Agartu Ali, the city’s 2018 Youth Poet Laureate.

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