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As a citizen of Canada, I am writing to ask that our country fulfill its international humanitarian obligations by, first, providing adequate aid to all populations affected by the Syrian refugee crisis, including neighboring host countries, and second, opening our borders to Syrian refugees. Canada must also strongly encourage other wealthy nations to do the same.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has received just $1.1 billion in aid for Syrian refugees this year; that’s only 27% of the funding that it has identified as the bare minimum required. Furthermore, Canada has pledged to resettle just 200 Syrian refugees and offer private sponsorship for another 1,100; that’s only 0.045% of all Syrians who have been displaced in countries neighboring Syria. The Syrian humanitarian crisis has reached such massive proportions that the death and displacement tolls—160,000 and 9 million, respectively—can be difficult to even imagine, which makes it that much more difficult to attract international support.

So hopefully this comparison will help: if Canada were Syria, the entire population of Sudbury would be dead, and the entire populations of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, the Maritime provinces, Newfoundland, and Markham would have had to abandon their homes and flee their communities. I hope that the world would rush to Canada’s aid with greater resolve than Canada has rushed to Syria’s.

If we were Syrian, we’d expect better.

Yours Sincerely,





1. Photo: Flickr.