In an article titled “U.N. Calls on Western Nations to Shelter Syrian Refugees”, published today in the New York Times, Professor Alexander Betts tells Somini Sengupta that “The Syrian crisis places the entire humanitarian system at a crossroads. It requires us to radically rethink how we protect and assist such large numbers of displaced people.”
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, has called for industrialized countries to take in 130,000 Syrian refugees over the next 2 years (only a fraction of the 4 million refugees registered in countries bordering Syria). However, as the article states, governments’ responses have fallen short, “while a great many more Syrians have chosen to make perilous journeys by land and sea in search of asylum in Europe”.