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UN to Open Conference on Refugee Resettlement


The United Nations refugee agency is increasing its plea for the international community to provide more help in resettling refugees.

Beginning Tuesday, the U.N. will convene a three-day meeting in Geneva to address the growing problem of resettlement options not keeping pace with the increasing demand.

The UNHCR estimates that more than 800,000 refugees will need to resettle to third counties because they cannot return home and will not be allowed to stay where they are currently located. Officials say more than 80 percent of the world's refugees live in developing countries where many can not remain safely and have no possibility of integration.

Last year, the UNHCR accepted a proposal to start a resettlement initiative with the European Union. The majority of refugees resettled every year are accepted by the United States, Canada and Australia. European countries together provide around six percent of the world's resettlement opportunities.

The UNHCR says the United States opened its doors to the highest number of refugees for resettlement last year. It says an estimated 80,000 of the 128,000 people seeking the U.N. agency's help eventually found refuge in the U.S.

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