US to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees

U.S. President Barack Obama has asked his administration to open the door to at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year.

The next fiscal year will start from Oct.1.

It is the first specific commitment the United States has made toward increasing its acceptance of refugees from the war-torn country.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary
“The president has directed his team to scale up that number next year and he’s informed his team that he would like them to accept, at least make preparations to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year.”

The Obama administration has come under sharp criticism from refugee and immigrant advocates for a laggardly response and not doing enough to deal with the crisis caused by refugees escaping conflict in Syria and other countries.

Britain announced Monday that it will accept up to 20,000 refugees from Syria by 2020. When asked that U.S. is a lot larger than Britain but why it chooses to take in so smaller number of refugees, the spokesman said.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary
“What it reflects is a significant scaling up of the commitment on the part of the United States to accept more Syrian refugees into this country.”
“The other thing that’s important for people to recognize and I mentioned this earlier this week as well, the top concern — or the top priority when evaluating these kinds of policy options is the safety and security of the United States and our citizens.”

Since the start of the Syrian war in 2011, Washington has accepted around 1,500 Syrian refugees.

According to the United Nations,the total refugees population is around 4 million.

European countries have taken in waves of migrants fleeing violence. Germany allowed 20,000 migrants into the country over the weekend and is preparing for 800,000 this year.

Also on Thursday, The European Union decided that they will deliver new assistance of 17.5 million euros or 19.7 million dollars in support of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

It said with the funding 240,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey, most of them children, will receive schooling opportunities and food security.

Since the start of the conflict in Syria, more than 11.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes, including almost 4 million that fled to neighbouring countries, half of them to Turkey.

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