Lifeline Syria aims to bring 1,000 refugees to Toronto

A new initiative launched yesterday called Lifeline Syria has set up a goal to bring 1,000 Syrian refugees to the Greater Toronto Area. We hear more about Lifeline Syria and speak to the desperate need for global action on the refugee crisis.
Local resident Israa holds her sister Boutol as they make their way through rubble of damaged buildings in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus March 4, 2015. (REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh)
Residents queue to receive humanitarian aid at Yarmouk refugee camp. (Reuters)

According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the number of Syrian refugees currently sits at nearly 4 million. Another 7 million Syrians are internally displaced. 

A new initiative launched yesterday calledLifeline Syria has set up a goal to bring 1,000 Syrian refugees to the Greater Toronto Area. The initiative draws inspiration from Canada's response to the so-called boat people crisis in 1979, which saw 60,000 refugees resettled here.

The 40th anniversary of the 'boat people' coming to Canada 

Forty years ago, tens of thousands of refugees fled Vietnam. Today, we devote an hour to those who found a new life in Canada and those who made it possible. And we ask what we've learned as new waves of displaced people take to boats to escape new wars. 52:29

Leen Al Zaibak is a member of the steering committee of Lifeline Syria and co-founder of Jusoor, an organization that heldps Syrian youth continue their education. She was in our Toronto studio. 

While private organizations such as Lifeline Syria doing their best to help resettle refugees, with over 50 million refugees worldwide, Amnesty International says current global efforts are simply not enough, and more needs to be done.

Alex Neve is the Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada's English Branch. He was in Ottawa.

This segment was produced by The Current's Sarah Grant and Pacinthe Mattar.