RefugeesI recently published an article on PolicyMic which addresses the global refugee crisis, with the number of displaced persons and refugees reaching a 19 year high.

According to a new UN report, the number of refugees around the world has hit a 19-year high, with more than 45 million refugees and internally displaced people worldwide.  The crisis in Syria alone has generated 1.6 million refugees, many of whom are in dire need of aid.

Many of these refugees are fleeing conflict zones, and are faced with various hardships including finding basic food and shelter. Political solutions for these conflicts may be out of reach, but there remains very practical solutions to aid refugees and avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

The United Nations has made an appeal for $4.4 billion in urgent humanitarian aid to help Syrians — the largest request for aid in history — yet it appears far from reaching this goal.

To make a tax deductible donation please visit the UNHCR (United States Association for UNHCR) site

My main argument is focused on an increase in the refugee ceiling for 2014. The refugee ceiling is a yearly number that the United States sets in regards to the number of refugees it is able to process. The actual number of refugees admitted is often far less than this number, but is serves as a general guideline.

Despite the global crisis, the U.S. set its 2013 refugee ceiling at 70,000 — 6,000 fewer than 2012. At a time of global crisis in dire need, how does this policy make sense? How can we leave women and children in such miserable conditions when we have the means and resources to resettle them?

There must be a concerted effort to not only meet the refugee ceiling in its entirety, but to increase it for 2014 to address this crisis. An increase in the ceiling would help save lives and also assist the UN in processing more refugee applications.

I will publish the article on my blog in its entirety tomorrow. The refugee ceiling is just one area which the United States can look to help address this global humanitarian problem.