The Minister for Syrian Refugees, Richard Harrington, yesterday (Monday 21 December) thanked local authorities and partner organisations in the south-east for their role in helping the government to reach its target of resettling a 1,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees before Christmas.
Speaking at an event at Local Government House in Westminster, the first of several similar events set to take place across the country in 2016, the Minister outlined the government’s plans to resettle a further 19,000 Syrians across the UK, over the course of this parliament.
The event was arranged by the government to ensure stakeholders are informed and kept up to date with the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and as an opportunity to share best practice in helping to resettle refugees.
Richard Harrington, Minister for Syrian Refugees said:
I am delighted we have reached the Prime Minister’s target to resettle 1,000 Syrian refugees by Christmas. This has been made possible by an incredible amount of effort and support from local authorities from the South East and across the UK.
There is still a great deal of work to do as we offer protection and a new start to a total of 20,000 vulnerable Syrians over the course of this Parliament.
The ongoing support and co-operation of local authorities, NGOs and others will be essential as we expand the resettlement scheme further in the coming months.
The event was chaired by Cllr Paul Watkins, Chair and Leader at Dover District Council, and attended by over 100 people, including 11 local authority leaders or cabinet members and senior local government officers from local authorities in the South East region.
Also present were representatives from partner groups including Clinical Commissioning Groups, local and national Voluntary and Community Sector/Non-Governmental Organisations and representatives from local police forces.
The attendees also heard from Amaf Yousef, Refugee Support Coordinator, of the Syrian Charities and Networks UK, who explained how the resettlement programme operates from the perspective of a Syrian refugee.