Filippo Grandi, UNHCR Commissioner.    Picture: UN/Mark Garten

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi says he is deeply worried by the uncertainty engendered by US President Donald Trump’s executive order regarding refugees

He said over 800 refugees from around the world who were in the process of being resettled to the US have been affected.

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Filippo, in a statement obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in New York, said:

“This week alone, over 800 refugees were set to make America their new home, but instead find themselves barred from travelling to the U.S.

“UNHCR estimates that 20,000 refugees in precarious circumstances might have been resettled to the United States during the 120 days covered by the suspension announced on Friday, based on average monthly figures for the last 15 years.”

The UN official made a case for the refugees who he said are also anxious to restart their life as they are themselves fleeing persecution and terrorism. Moreso after the lengthy and gruelling process they went through in a bid to be granted immigrant status in the US.

According to him, the individuals and families UNHCR refers to governments for resettlement are the most vulnerable – people in need of urgent medical assistance, survivors of torture, and women and girls at risk.

“UNHCR hopes that they will be able to do so as soon as possible,” he said.

Filippo said resettlement has been a sign of tangible solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable refugees. It provides hope for people who have been displaced by wars and other disasters.

He expressed his hope that the US would retain its strong advocacy and “long history of protecting those who are fleeing conflict and persecution.”