Media Release by The Hon Scott Morrison MP

The Syrian and Iraqi humanitarian crisis

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon. Tony Abbott MP
    Prime Minister

    The Hon. Julie Bishop MP
    Minister for Foreign Affairs

    The Hon. Peter Dutton MP
    Minister for Immigration And Border Protection

Australia will resettle an additional 12,000 refugees who are fleeing the conflict in Syria and Iraq.

Our focus will be on those most in need – the women, children and families of persecuted minorities who have sought refuge from the conflict in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

A team of Government officials will depart for the region as soon as possible to begin identifying and processing potential candidates for resettlement.

In addition, Australia will provide humanitarian support to more than 240,000 Syrian and Iraqi people who have been forced to flee their homes or seek refuge in neighbouring countries. This is expected to cost $44 million.

This funding will deliver much needed food, water, healthcare, education, emergency supplies and protection, including support for women and girls.

With this additional commitment, Australia’s contribution to help address the humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq will be around $230 million since 2011.

Today’s announcement represents a significant contribution to the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. It is a generous, prudent and proportionate response by a decent and compassionate nation.

It follows consultations with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian agencies in Geneva.

Our officials will work with the UNHCR to resettle the refugees as soon as possible.

They will undergo normal security, health and character checks before coming to Australia and receiving permanent protection.

The 12,000 places will be in addition to the existing humanitarian programme of 13,750, which rises to 18,750 in 2018-19.

This decision represents a significant increase in Australia’s humanitarian intake.

We are able to make this contribution because the Coalition Government has stopped the flow of illegal boats to Australia, easing the pressure on our humanitarian programme.

It will require the support of all Australian governments and community organisations.

We will engage State and Territory leaders and community organisations in coming days to discuss how the nation can contribute to this effort.