Media statement attributable to Australian Red Cross Director Programs, Vicki Mau regarding increase to humanitarian program

11 August 2023

Australian Red Cross welcomes the announcement that the number of people resettled through Australia’s Humanitarian Program will increase from 17,875 to 20,000 per year.

The number of people forcibly displaced across the world has reached record levels, with over 108 million people forced to flee their homes in 2022; one third of these people are refugees, and almost half of all refugees are children.

In the 2021-22 financial year, Australian Red Cross provided support to more than 47,000 people from 165 countries through our migration support programs, including refugees and people seeking asylum.

We work to ensure all migrants, regardless of how they arrived or their visa status, have their humanitarian needs met, are protected from harm, and can access the services and supports they need.

This announcement means 2,125 more people who are refugees will be supported in coming to Australia and making it their home this year. For these vulnerable adults and children, the increase will make a life changing difference.

The journey of resettlement is far from easy, but the stories of resilience and courage displayed by those forced to flee their homes, rebuild their lives in Australia, and go on to make significant contributions in their new communities, are inspiring.

The need is only growing, however. Australian Red Cross supports an ongoing increase to the humanitarian intake, as well as a strengthening of timely complimentary pathways in addition to the intake, and improving capacity for additional humanitarian intakes in response to crises and emergencies.

Every person in Australia can play a part in creating a welcoming and supportive community for refugees and people seeking asylum and I encourage people to visit our website to learn more about ways they can help.

Whether it’s donating time or money, helping to build a welcoming community, getting informed and listening to the voices of those with lived experience, inviting a guest speaker to your workplace or school, giving someone an opportunity through employment, or getting involved in the Community Refugee Sponsorship Program, there are many ways people can play an active role.

For more information about migration services and support, visit the Australian Red Cross website.

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