David Cameron delivers Christmas promise to Syrian refugees
Government hits target, resettling around 20,000 people
The Prime Minister has today announced that the UK has delivered on its promise of resettling 1,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees by Christmas.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, the Prime Minister confirmed that the UK had reached the milestone and stressed that the government would continue its focus on resettling those in the region who are most at risk.
By hitting the target, the government has shown it is well on track to resettle up to 20,000 Syrians through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement (VPR) Scheme over the next 5 years.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I made a promise that we would resettle a 1,000 Syrians by Christmas and I can confirm today that we have met our commitment.
“The charter flights that arrived yesterday at Stansted and Belfast mean that over a 1,000 have been settled and another flight is coming today.
“The government has provided funding so that all these refugees get housing, healthcare, education and I want to thank all the local authorities and all those who have worked so hard. I said that Britain would do its duty and with these 1,000 we’ve made a very good start.”
Groups of refugees have been arriving in the UK over the last 3 months as part of a carefully co-ordinated, staggered approach.
The most recent charter flights arrived yesterday at Stansted and Belfast – with another arriving today.
More than 50 local authorities from across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have taken a share of the 1,000 refugees resettled, showing that this country is again acting in the finest traditions of providing shelter to the most vulnerable.
The VPR scheme is just one part of the government’s comprehensive approach to the Syrian crisis, which has seen the UK become the second biggest bilateral aid donor with £1.1 billion in aid pledged to date.
In addition, the Royal Navy has saved over 8,000 lives so far in the Mediterranean and is working with partners to tackle and smash the evil people smuggling gangs.
At the Valletta Summit last month the Prime Minister announced a £200 million package of support for Africa and £275 million of support to Turkey to help it cope with the scale of the crisis.