Current Syrian refugee crisis, some numbers

4.2 million Syrian refugees, most living in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq. UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported 4.29 million as of November 3rd, 2015, also reported here, and here6.5 million Syrians internally displaced. 200 thousand killed in the Syrian Civil War since 2011.

$4.5 billion: amount UNHCR has requested or approximately $1,057 per capita for Syrian refugee assistance. UNHCR has raised $2 billion of the $4.5 billion requested.

10,000: number of Syrian refugees the United States has pledged to take in, at a cost of $12,874 per capita. There are other numbers out there, but we do know the US government spent $1.1 billion last year resettling 70,000 people from around the world, or almost $16,000 per head. (These are just the costs of resettlement, not additional costs once they arrive in the United States, as refugees are eligible for most welfare programs and have usage rights higher than the general population.) “Refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States,” a State Department official told Business Insider.

Once the US State Department receives their case files it employs NGO contractors to pre-screen them for eligibility for refugee status, then they are subjected to health and security checks.

Officers from the Department of Homeland Security fly from Washington to the camps and conduct interviews with candidates, seeking to weed out what a US official called “liars, criminals and terrorists.”

Meanwhile they receive medical tests and those with communicable diseases, most commonly tuberculosis, are given treatment before they can travel to the United States, often delaying the process.

Once they get to the United States, refugees are provided seed money to find a place to live and get situated.

The bottom line: Since 2009, the United States has accepted 70 percent of all resettled United Nations-designated refugees worldwide. Resettlement costs to the United States are nearly 12 times higher than resettling refugees to areas in the Middle East. The U.S. can spend $128 million to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S., or spend $128 million to resettle more than 121,000 Syrian refugees to one of the Middle Eastern countries taking refugees. For the price of resettling 194,000 refugees to the U.S., the U.S. could cover the entire gap of the UN’s $4.2 billion resettlement fund goal and have all of Syria’s 4.29 million refugees resettled in the Middle East.

Postscript:

Syria is not the only country with refugees crises going on right now.

2.5 million Afghan refugees

616 thousand South Sudanese refugees

410 thousand from Central African Republic

and the list goes on.

 

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