Canada has seen a steady increase in the number of asylum claims from Somalia over the past five years, according to statistics from the federal Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). In 2013, 257 Somali refugee claims were referred to the IRB and 90 were approved; those numbers gradually climbed to 771 referred claims and 317 approvals in 2017.
Between January and June of this year, the IRB saw 286 Somali refugee claims and approved 207 cases; more recent statistics were unavailable. Somali asylum claims are on track to account for a small portion of the 43,000 refugees the federal government plans to resettle this year.
Beyond resettling more Somali refugees, Mr. Affey also encouraged the Canadian government to continue investing foreign-aid dollars in the Horn of Africa − Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti – and other surrounding countries hosting Somali refugees, such as Kenya and Yemen. For instance, he said investments in educational opportunities for refugees – particularly vulnerable girls – are critical for the stability of the region.