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This Is What Australia's Intake Of Syrian Refugees Looks Like Compared To Rest Of The World

Australia has resettled 3,346 Syrian more than 4 million others are fleeing war-torn Syria.

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As Australia debates how many more Syrian refugees to take from the worsening humanitarian crisis, former immigration minister Scott Morrison tweeted some stats.

# of Syrians resettled in Aust under Refugee & Humanitarian Program 14/15 2232, 13/14 1007, 12/13 98, 11/12 9, 10/11 1, 9/10 6, 8/9 4

It is true that Australia ranks the highest in the world on a per capita basis when it comes to the UN resettlement program. However this only tells part of the story.

"Resettlement" occurs when a third country agrees to take refugees from a country where they originally sought protection. For example, a Syrian family may seek protection in Turkey and then get resettled in Australia. Australia receives comparatively few direct applications for asylum from Syrian refugees.

It's therefore entirely reasonable that Australia – which is geographically a long way from conflict zones – has world-leading resettlement numbers.

But "resettlement" accounts for less than 1% of the UN's refugee programme.


To put Australia’s efforts into context, this is the scale of the situation facing countries around the world.


Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at

Anna Mendoza is a photo editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Anna Mendoza at

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