Ministers meet with Syrian refugees in Jordan

News Release

November 29, 2015 – Amman, Jordan – Today, the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Refugees, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, concluded a very successful visit to Jordan. Ministers made this trip to experience first-hand the situation on the ground, as the Government of Canada implements its commitment to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada.

To provide a sense of the daily lives of refugees, Ministers visited Za’atari refugee camp, located outside of Amman, Jordan, which is home to approximately 80,000 refugees. Ministers toured the camp and had the opportunity to speak with a number of Syrian refugees who have been displaced for many months and in some cases years.

Ministers attended the opening of the new Syrian refugee processing centre in Amman. Here, they met with both refugees and Canadian officials responsible for processing refugees, and reviewed the interview and screening process.

Discussing the pressures faced by Jordan in hosting so many refugees, Ministers met today with King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein and Prime Minister Dr. Abdullah Ensour. They committed to working collaboratively to address the humanitarian crisis facing Syrian refugees as a result of the ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq.

The Government of Canada is working with the governments of Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey on this complex initiative. These countries have been home to hundreds of thousands of refugees since the conflict in Syria began.


“The hardships of refugees who both live in urban centres and on refugee camps are poignant reminders of the importance of the work Canada is doing in the region in both bringing refugees to Canada, and supporting aid work in the region.”

– Hon. Jane Philpott, Minister of Health and Chair, Ad Hoc Committee on Refugees

“Canadian officials on the ground are doing a tremendous amount of important work setting up these offices and processing cases as quickly as possible. Their work is critical to bringing refugee families to safety in Canada.”

– Hon. John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“I want to thank the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which has shown great leadership in helping millions of Syrians who have been displaced due to conflict in their home country. Canada recognizes that helping people in need is a shared responsibility, which is why we are working with our partners to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees safely to Canada as soon as possible.”

– Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • There are more than four million Syrian refugees.
  • 153 Syrian refugees have come to Canada since November 4th and another 928 have been issued visas.
  • Government-assisted refugees will go to more than 36 communities and privately sponsored refugees will go to even more communities all across Canada, depending on where their sponsor lives.
  • The Government of Canada will invest up to $678 million over six years toward expediting the resettlement and ensuring integration support for these Syrian refugees.

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