By the numbers – 40 years of Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program

Backgrounder

Since the late 1970s, Canadian citizens and permanent residents have joined together to provide protection to refugees and to help them build a new life here through Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

Private sponsorships are arranged by cultural, humanitarian or faith-based organizations, community associations, or groups of five or more individuals. These groups commit to supporting resettled refugees during their first year in Canada by providing income support, arrival and orientation services, accommodation and basic household needs, and food, clothing and emotional support.

Did you know?

  • 2 million – Canadians report that they have been personally involved in helping Syrian refugees come to and settle in Canada
  • 327,000 – refugees have been welcomed by private sponsors since 1979, over and above those resettled with government funding
  • 62,000 – since 2015, more than half of the Syrian refugees who have been resettled to Canada were privately sponsored
  • 59,000 – privately sponsored refugees will be welcomed to Canada between 2019 and 2021
  • More than 49,000 – privately sponsored Polish refugees were welcomed between 1980 and 1996
  • 34,000 – privately sponsored Indochinese refugees were resettled to Canada in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This involved some 7,000 sponsoring groups
  • Nearly 28,000 – Iraqi privately sponsored refugees were welcomed from 1988 to 2018
  • More than 26,000 – Afghani privately sponsored refugees were welcomed between 1988 and 2018
  • More than 17,000 – Eritrean privately sponsored refugees were welcomed from 2004 to 2018
  • More than 9,000 – Iranian privately sponsored refugees were welcomed between 1982 and 2018
  • Nearly 9,000 – Somali privately sponsored refugees were welcomed from 1988 to 2018
  • 117 – incorporated organizations have signed agreements with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to sponsor refugees
  • 1 – Canada was the only country ever to be awarded the Nansen Medal, the highest distinction bestowed by the United Nations for aid to refugees
  • #1 – Canada’s place among resettlement countries worldwide

Private sponsors play a significant role in thousands upon thousands of new Canadian success stories. Sponsors help newcomer individuals and families who affect our communities in many positive ways.

It is thanks to the efforts of private sponsors and the support of thousands of volunteers that Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program continues to be a success.


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