Australia to take 500
A further 500 Syrian refugees will be settled in Australia under the Government's humanitarian program.
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison said Australia had responded to the UNHCR's call for coordinated international efforts to resettle Syrian refugees.
''The Australian Government will work with the UNHCR to identify those offered the resettlement places, which will be targeted for highly vulnerable people in urgent need of protection,'' Mr Morrison said.
He said resettlement would start in 2013-14.
Mr Morrison said Australia would also continue to assist the UNHCR in the internationally coordinated response to the Syrian crisis.
''Australia has so far provided more than $100 million in humanitarian assistance to the Syrian crisis, including $45.5 million to support humanitarian activities in countries neighbouring Syria,'' he said.
''Our funding has supported UNHCR and other Agencies to provide shelter, food and clean water to refugees and host communities.
''Australia has long supported the resettlement of genuine refugees through its offshore refugee program, working in close cooperation with the UNHCR, and will continue to do this.''
Mr Morrison said humanitarian visas were being arranged for Afghan interpreters and other locally engaged personnel who have offered crucial support to Australia's personnel serving in Afghanistan.
Edition 382, 8 October 2013