22:53 GMT20 April 2021
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    More than half of the Syrian refugees resettled in the United States are under 18 years old, US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard told reporters on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The State Department confirmed on Friday that as of today the United States has admitted 8,000 Syrian refugees out of the 10,000 refugees it pledged to accept before the end of the 2016 fiscal year.

    "Seventy-eight percent out of 8,000 were women and children, and the number of children, or under 18-year-olds is 4,576."

    The official noted the number of children accepted is roughly divided evenly between boys and girls.

    Richard added that that the United States is confident it will welcome at least 10,000 refugees from Syria by the end of the current fiscal year.

    In September 2015, President Barack Obama announced his plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States before the end of the 2016 fiscal year.

    US officials have cited backlogs and staffing gaps as hindrances to resettlement, but the Obama administration has also faced resistance from Republican lawmakers over the security vetting process and possible impact of resettlement on US national security.

    The ongoing war in Syria has displaced more than 11 million people, including 4.8 million who are in neighboring states such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.


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