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Supporting Refugees in Surrey

A family is having their picture taken, holding a sign that says 'I have never seen snow, but soon I will'. Photo taken for Surrey Welcomes Refugees day.

Refugee Crisis

Globally, one in every 120 humans is now either a refugee, displaced person or seeking asylum, showing the highest ever recorded worldwide displacement (UNHCR, 2016). Since 2011, the civil war in Syria has become one of the main drivers of this phenomenon.

In the last five years, Surrey has become a home to the largest number of refugees in British Columbia.

In this period of time, over 25% of all Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) in B.C. have settled in Surrey and since November 2015, over 44% of all Syrian GARs who came to B.C. have found a home in Surrey.

Join Surrey in Helping Refugees

  • Help provide a "safe haven" in Surrey for a writer-at-risk for 2 years. Donate to help support the writer and their family as they become part of Surrey's culturally vibrant community. Learn more about the City's designation as Canada's first International City of Refuge.
  • Sign the petition to advocate the end of the federal government's transportation loan program for refugees
  • Connect refugees to the City of Surrey's Leisure Access Program, if you are a service provider.
  • Help find housing in Surrey. ISSofBC is the agency responsible for Refugee Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) in British Columbia. Call 1-844-447-9742 (toll-free) or email at if you have a question or would like to help.
  • Become a host or friend to a refugee family or lead an English conversation circle. Check out Surrey immigrant serving agencies to find out how you can take part.
  • Contribute to the Muslim Food Bank. Located in Surrey, they serve over 600 refugees monthly who need food and other supports. List of halal food items is available from the Muslim Food Bank.
  • Support with cash donations. Your donations to your local immigrant service agency help support refugee resettlement in Surrey. Support refugee re-settlement in other parts of the world by donating to Red Cross.
  • Join a fundraiser with Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH) in Surrey. SAH’s hold an agreement with the Government of Canada to sponsor refugees and help support their immigration to Canada. Many refugee families are waiting to be re-united with their family members and SAHs fundraiseg to sponsor the families and make it happen.

The City is not aware of any agency in Surrey which is currently accepting clothing or furniture donations.
 Two women look on at Surrey Welcomes Refugees day.   Surrey LIP Welcome Brochure in English and Arabic  Two smiling men support the Muslim food bank table.

Past Events

Surrey Welcomes Refugees - July 2016
Immigrant Advisory Roundtable Newcomer Information Session - April 9, 2016
Surrey Newcomer Youth Consultation - January 23, 2016
Surrey Community Forum on Syrian Refugees - January, 2016

A child signs a giant love ball filled with messages about Surrey at Surrey Welcome Refugees day.  Group from the 2016 Surrey Newcomers Youth Consultation

Council Reports

Surrey Immigrant Integration Strategy 2016 - 19 and Update on the Surrey LIP - May 30, 2016
Update on the Arrival of Syrian Refugees - April 18, 2016
Update on the Surrey LIP - February 2, 2015
Update on the Surrey Welcoming Communities Program and LIP - May 12, 2014

News Releases

Related Content

Local Immigration Partnership (LIP)

Learn how the Surrey LIP is strengthening the role of local communities in integrating newcomers.