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San Diego Celebrates World Refugee Day, While Refugee Resettlement Numbers At Historic Low

Nadim Fawzi Jouriyeh, a Syrian refugee who arrived in the U.S. this week with...

Photo by Associated Press

Above: Nadim Fawzi Jouriyeh, a Syrian refugee who arrived in the U.S. this week with his family, pushes a shopping cart with sons, Farouq Nadim Jouriyeh, left, and Hamzeh Nadim Jouriyeh in El Cajon, Aug. 31, 2016.

This year's World Refugee Day on Thursday coincided with a new report that shows the United States has lowered its annual admissions for refugees by one third this fiscal year compared to last.

The report from the International Rescue Committee, a global non-profit dedicated to refugee resettlement, shows this year the U.S. has committed to taking only 30,000 refugees. That's despite resettlement needs increasing by 17 percent, according to the report.

"We know the numbers from each resettlement agency and their approval rate has gone really down. Now we see two, three per agency...and the thing that we know is there are a lot of people who are really suffering out there," said Mohammed Tuama, chair of the San Diego Refugee Forum.

The IRC report also shows that while admissions from Africa, East Asia and Europe are nearly complete for this fiscal year, admissions from Latin America, the Caribbean and South Asia have barely begun. Admissions from those regions will likely reach a fifth of their ceilings.

The San Diego Refugee Forum is hosting a World Refugee Day celebration to honor the culture of San Diego's refugees this Saturday at 11 a.m. at the YMCA in City Heights.

By Reporter Priya Sridhar

This year's World Refugee Day coincided with a new report from the International Rescue Committee, a global non-profit dedicated to refugee resettlement.

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