The Government of Canada has pledged to resettle 1,300 Syrian refugees by the end of 2014, according to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

This pledge comes in light of appeals by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as well as private donors, for the country to resettle a number of ‘extremely vulnerable’ refugees.

“The Government of Canada is deeply concerned about the crisis in Syria and was ready to respond immediately to those identified by the UNHCR as being most in need of urgent protection”, said Minister Kenney. “As the UNHCR has stated repeatedly, only a political solution can end the violence and the humanitarian crisis in Syria and Canada continues to work with the international community towards this.”

The decision to resettle some Syrian refugees is the latest in a series of aid initiatives the country has undertaken with regard to Syria. It has donated $90 million toward humanitarian organizations working in the region, and $25 to the governments of Syria and Lebanon who are coping with an influx of refugees. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has independently pledged $1 million to support the deployment of five staff members to assist displaced persons in the region.

Additionally, Canada has already committed to resettling 5,000 refugees from Turkey by 2018, mostly of Iraqi and Iranian origin.