William Eichler 23 February 2017

200 councils house Syrian refugees, figures reveal

More than 200 local authorities across the UK have housed Syrian refugees in the last one and a half years, new figures reveal.

Government statistics published today have revealed more than 5,000 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the UK under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement (VPR) scheme since October 2015.

They found over 1,200 refugees arrived in the final 3 months of 2016, which means 5,454 people have been given refuge since the government pledged to resettle 20,000 refugees by 2020.

The Government has received a lot of criticism for its U-turn two weeks ago over plans to take in 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees under the Dubs amendment. Immigration minister Robert Goodwill told MPs the UK could only take in 350.

However, the new figures show that half of the refugees who arrived under the resettlement scheme were children.

They also showed that a total of more than 8,000 children were granted refuge or other forms of leave in 2016, including 900 unaccompanied children from Europe.

‘The humanitarian crisis in Syria is unprecedented, which is why this government is undertaking one of the largest resettlement schemes in the UK’s history,’ said Mr Goodwill.

‘I’m delighted with the significant progress we have made with the VPR scheme so far and vulnerable refugees are arriving here every month.

‘The hard work will continue throughout this Parliament, as we work with local authorities to provide those who have been displaced by conflict with a safe environment and the opportunity to rebuild their lives.’

For more on the Government’s U-turn over the Dubs amendment read our feature, Whitehall’s war on unaccompanied minors.

Image: Melih Cevdet Teksen / Shutterstock.com

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