Marie Harf, US state department deputy spokeswoman, said during her daily press briefing, “The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) began in mid-2014 to refer Syrian refugees in large numbers to the United States.”
She pointed out that there are several thousands of Syrian refugees waiting to gain entry into the US, noting that the number will continue to increase.
Harf refused to comment on the State Department’s decision not to grant visas for twelve Syrian actresses scheduled to participate in a play at Georgetown University, stating the visa records were confidential. The women planned to take part in a play entitled “Syria: The Trojan Women” during the month of September.
In a report released last Friday, UNHCR stated that “Syria’s intensifying refugee crisis will today pass a record 3 million people, amid reports of horrifying conditions inside the country. These include cities where populations are surrounded, people are going hungry and civilians are being indiscriminately killed.”
The report announced that the number of Syrian refugees and internally displaced Syrians now amounted to 9.5 million.
The Commission added that more than US$2 billion is needed by the end of this year to meet the immediate needs of the refugees. Most urgently, more than 2.4 million people are expected to need support in the coming weeks to prepare for winter.