U.N. refugee chief says there are "not enough" resources to tackle crisis

UN High Commissioner on the refugee crisis
UN High Commissioner on the refugee crisis 07:06

As the world grapples with the worst refugee crisis since World War II with over 65 million displaced people worldwide, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi tells CBS News' "Face the Nation" that his organization does not have enough resources to take on the devastating humanitarian crisis.

"We need of course humanitarian resources to address the basic needs: food, medicines, shelter. Protection especially for the most vulnerable women, children. But we increasingly need with this protracted crisis -- you know, the average stay of a refugee in a foreign country, these days is maybe 15 to 20 years," Grandi told "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan.

While the Trump administration has imposed a cap on the number of refugees that the U.S. will allow to resettle at about 45,000 for this year, Grandi says he's hopeful that the cap will be reevaluated after an analysis of the vetting process.

"We are discussing this matter with the U.S. and we hope that once this analysis of the vetting procedure is completed, once measures are taken to make it even more robust, although we think it's quite robust already, then we can talk about larger figures again," he said. 

The U.S. hasn't taken in so few refugees in a single year since 2006, when 41,223 were allowed entry. The U.S. welcomed 84,995 in fiscal year 2016, and former President Barack Obama sought to raise that number to 110,000 in 2017. Since 1975, the U.S. has welcomed more than 3 million refugees from all over the world. 

Grandi added, "Once this issue of vetting has been clarified I hope that the figures can rise again."

But Grandi emphasized that it's the "sovereign duty of any country" to "ensure that population movements, including refugees, do not bring insecurity."

"That's why we support vetting. We support controls but fundamentally, if somebody is assessed as being a refugee, he or she should be received, should be given that protection that this person has lost in his or her country and, in countries like the United States, should be given the opportunity to thrive. Like millions of refugees have done in the past few decades," he said. 

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    Emily Tillett is the digital producer at "Face the Nation"