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(CNN) – The U.S. government is preparing to reveal a plan to send 50,000 refugees to a country in Africa as it looks at how to handle more than 60,000 displaced persons in Europe now.
The United States is in the midst of preparing to open its doors to 60,000 refugees from the war-ravaged countries of Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, and Somalia as part of a strategy to accept more asylum-seekers from around the world. The U.S. has pledged to resettle 25,000 refugees in the United States each year.
The plan was first reported by the Associated Press on Tuesday, and was first reported in Foreign Policy. It follows a U.S. State Department official speaking with CNN, who said there would be an “increase in numbers of those refugees in the next few months as we review our policies.”
A State Department official, who spoke with CNN on background, said the U.S. will have “closer to 50,000 than 60,000 [refugees] in the next couple of months, in September and October.”
The official said the U.S. will be sending the refugees to other countries, particularly to countries where there are fewer refugees than people in need.
“If we are successful in getting the numbers down, our priority will be to send them to countries with fewer numbers. We’ll work on that for now,” the official said.
A senior State Department official who was speaking with CNN said there needs to be additional planning, to avoid a big influx of refugees.
“We made some big, bold, strategic changes in how we were going to respond to that crisis, and we didn’t anticipate this kind of massive spike in numbers,” the official said.
The official said the State Department has not yet decided whether it will