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Syrian refugee initiative evaluation

June 28, 2017

In response to the Syrian refugee crisis, Canada resettled more than 40,000 Syrian refugees in municipalities across the country.

A Rapid Impact Evaluation (RIE) was conducted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to assess the early outcomes of the 2015-16 Syrian Refugee Initiative. The evaluation focused on resettlement and early settlement outcomes for the Syrian population who were admitted as Government Assisted Refugees (GAR), Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSR), and Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) refugees.

Overall GARs and PSRs reported they were happy with their life in Canada – challenges included finding permanent housing, and issues surrounding the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) delivery, support, and reporting.  

At the time of the survey, half of adult PSRs had found employment, compared to 10% of Syrian GARs; the most common was employment in sales and service occupations. The greatest challenge to finding a job was associated with learning an official language. Some refugees were not enrolled in language training due to the lack of lower level classes and lack of childcare services.  

The evaluation identified several areas that should be taken into account to help municipalities ensure successful resettlement and settlement results including the need for accurate and complete refugee information and provision of pre-arrival services.

For more on how to improve outcomes for newcomers in your community, visit AUMA’s Welcoming and Inclusive Communities webpage