Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that Australia will increase proportional intake of Syrian refugees in the coming year.
Abbott has not yet confirmed the number of people who will be accepted from that region.
“I’m not going to put a number on it now,” Abbott told journalists, but Australia is “prepared to take significant numbers [of Syrian refugees] this year.” But he also made clear that Australia would not be increasing it’s overall intake – just the proportion that comes from Syria.
“We can only do this because of the success we’ve already had in stopping the boats,” he continued.
“We are in a position to take more Syrians because of that success.”
Abbott has further announced that Peter Dutton will travel to Geneva to ask the United Nations what more Australia can do to assist the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Australia will also increase its financial contribution to the UNHCR.
“Australia takes more refugees through the UNHCR than any other country on a per capita basis,” Prime Minister Abbott said.
“We are prepared to take more people from camps, women and children, persecuted minorities.”