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International Rescue Committee’s David Miliband On What U.S. Can Do To Help Syrian Refugees

Evening Edition

This week, the United Nations officials said Syrians are about to replace Afghans as the world's largest refugee population.

International Rescue Committee President David Miliband said the numbers of displaced Syrians is staggering. He said of the country's 22 million people, one in two Syrians has been displaced from their homes since the civil war began nearly three years ago.

"We've been able to reach people in desperate need because 60 percent of hospitals in Syria have been destroyed, 6 million people have been displaced within the country so the need is great and the need for ingenuity is even greater."

The IRC is working to bring Syrian refugees to the United States.

"At the moment there's very small numbers of Syrians coming to the U.S.," Miliband said. "Less than 200 have been admitted here even though historically the Unites States is the most generous country for accepting refugees."

He said, the IRC is calling on the U.S. to increase the number of refugees allowed to resettle in here, and if that happens, some may wind up in San Diego.

"If I hope, when the U.S. government decides to increase that number and allow some Syrians, the most needy cases, the kids who've have lost their parents, the women who've lost their husbands, this would be an ideal place for them to rebuild their lives," he said.

He said the small Syrian community and lager Middle Eastern community here could give Syrian refugees some sense of of roots and a bit of stability that can allow them to make a contribution to society.

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