Syrian refugee crisis: How different countries have responded

Jon Stone
Thursday 01 September 2016 22:26 BST
Syrian refugees have met with very different responses around the world
Syrian refugees have met with very different responses around the world (Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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On the first anniversary of the death of Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi, the Government's approach to refugees is once again in the spotlight.

Other countries have taken varying numbers of people escaping from the conflict. Below is a brief summary of some of the different approaches taken.


Europe’s main transit destination for refugees, Greece has seen hundreds of thousands of migrants pass through its border – though very few actually apply for asylum in the country, instead continuing onto other countries like Germany.


A long land border with northern Syria, relative stability, and a gateway to Europe has made Turkey the biggest host of refugees from the Syrian conflict. Between two and three million displaced Syrians live within its borders, the majority living in camps.


An estimated 300,000 refugees are in Germany, following’s Angela Merkel’s open-door policy. Protests both in support of refugees and against them have taken place in the country.


Sweden has been a major destination for Syrian refugees following a policy of granting all asylum seekers permanent residency, as well as residency for their families. More than 38,000 people applied for asylum in 2015, an increase from previous years.


Canada met its goal of resettling 25,000 refugees in February this year; it has now accepted upwards of 31,000 – more than the UK had pledged to take by 2020.


President Francois Hollande has committed France to taking 30,000 refugees over two years.


Slightly smaller than Yorkshire, tiny Lebanon has hosted a million Syrian refugees, thanks to its proximity to Damascus and other built-up areas in the west of Syria.


Syria’s neighbour to its south west has around a million refugees, many living in the local community rather than organised refugee camps.


Despite the conflict in Iraq, about a quarter of a million Syrians have fled there. Many, especially enthic Kurds, have gone on to Iraqi Kurdistan, where local security forces have kept the conflict at bay.


More than 10,000 ethnic minority Armenian Syrians have fled through Turkey to Armenia, where many have relatives.


Despite its proximity and high level of economic development, Israel has refused to take any Syrian refugees. “We will not allow Israel to be submerged by a wave of illegal migrants and terrorist activists,” Benjamin Netanyahu has said.


Despite food shortages and an economic crisis President Nicolás Maduro announced that Venezuela will accept 20,000 Syrians.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has reportedly issued residency permits for 100,000 Syrians though it has not formally accepted anyone actually classed as a refugee.

United States

The US state department has said it will accept 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016. Some state governors, however, have said they will not allow any Syrians to be placed there.

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