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Supporting Refugees in Surrey

A family is having their picture taken, holding a sign that says 'I have never seen snow, but soon I will'. Photo taken for Surrey Welcomes Refugees day.

Refugee Crisis

Globally, one in every 120 humans is now either a refugee, displaced person or seeking asylum, showing the highest ever recorded worldwide displacement (UNHCR, 2016). In the last five years, Surrey has become a home to the largest number of refugees in British Columbia. Since 2011, the civil war in Syria has become one of the main drivers of this phenomenon.

In this period of time, over 25% of all Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) in BC have settled in Surrey and since November 2015, over 44% of all Syrian GARs who came to BC have found a home in Surrey.

GARs are identified by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as being among the world's most desperate people in need of protection and resettlement when there is no other solution or no effective protection available to them. GARs arrive in Canada with the right to permanent residence. (Citizenship and Immigration Canada.)

Join Surrey in Helping Refugees

  • Help provide a "safe haven" in Surrey for a writer or artist at risk for 2 years. Donate to help support a writer or artist and their family as they become part of Surrey's culturally vibrant community. Learn more about the City's designation as Canada's first International City of Refuge.
  • Sign the petition to advocate the end of the federal government's transportation loan program for refugees.
  • Connect refugees to the City of Surrey's Leisure Access Program, if you are a service provider.
  • Help find housing in Surrey. ISSofBC is the agency responsible for Refugee Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) in British Columbia. Call 1-844-447-9742 or email  refugee.crisis@issbc.org if you would like to help.
  • Become a host or friend to a refugee family or lead an English conversation circle. Check out Surrey's immigrant serving agencies to find out how you can take part.
  • Contribute to the Muslim Food Bank. The Muslim Food Bank in Surrey serves more than 600 refugees every month.
  • Support with cash donations. Donations to your local immigrant service agency help support refugee resettlement in Surrey. Support refugee re-settlement in other parts of the world by donating to Red Cross.
  • Join a fundraiser with Sponsorship Agreement Holders. Sponsorship Agreement Holders hold an agreement with the Government of Canada to sponsor refugees and help support their immigration to Canada.

Learn about the GAR government refugee transportation loan and further advocacy by the City of Surrey.

Refugee Housing Study

The City of Surrey partnered with Immigrant Services Society of BC to conduct a study on the housing experiences of refugees living in Surrey.

Read the final report: At Home in Surrey? The Housing Experiences of Refugees in Surrey, BC.

 
 Two women look on at Surrey Welcomes Refugees day.     Two smiling men support the Muslim food bank table.

Past Events

  • Surrey Welcomes Refugees - July 2016
  • Immigrant Advisory Roundtable Newcomer Information Session - April 9, 2016
  • Surrey Newcomer Youth Consultation - January 23, 2016
  • Surrey Community Forum on Syrian Refugees - January, 2016

A child signs a giant love ball filled with messages about Surrey at Surrey Welcome Refugees day.  Group from the 2016 Surrey Newcomers Youth Consultation
 

Council Reports

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Local Immigration Partnership (LIP)

Learn how the Surrey LIP is strengthening the role of local communities in integrating newcomers.