The Canadian government announced Thursday it will provide $75 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in aid for Syrian refugees, including $7.5 million that will help resettle thousands of Syrians in Canada over the next few months, the Associated Press reported.
Canadian International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said the government will be disbursing the funds before Dec. 31, fulfilling one of the Liberal Party’s campaign promises from the country’s recent federal election. Bibeau said the agency will put the money toward shelter, protection, education and health for the refugees.
“We know that Syrian refugees are cutting on meals, taking on debt to meet their basic daily needs and risking their lives to leave Syria,” she said. “This funding to UNHCR will help to make these decisions a little less difficult by helping to meet basic needs.”
The Canadian government had also pledged to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year but announced Tuesday that it would push back the deadline due to security concerns in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris earlier this month. The government will now bring in 10,000 Syrian refugees by Dec. 31 and an additional 15,000 by the end of February.
Canadian officials and U.N. staff in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have been working overtime and on weekends to help select the Syrians that will be resettled as part of the Canadian program.
All refugees will undergo thorough security screenings before they are brought to Canada, the government said, despite earlier rumors that some of the security and health checks would be done at Canadian military bases once the refugees had been airlifted into the country. The government said Canada has now provided $728 million -- nearly $1 billion CAD — in aid in response to the civil war in Syria that has displaced millions since it began in 2011.