Barnet praised for resettling Syrian refugees

Author: Natalie Peck


The Government has thanked Barnet for its role in supporting the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the UK.

Hendon Town Hall

Hendon Town Hall

It follows the publication of new government figures which show that the UK has resettled over 5,500 Syrian refugees under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement (VPR) scheme putting it on track to meet its commitment of resettling 20,000 by 2020.

Barnet has currently resettled 37 Syrian refugees out of its commitment to resettle 50 individuals as part of the VPR scheme.

Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said:

“The support of Barnet and other local authorities has been paramount in helping us resettle so many vulnerable people who have fled conflict.

“The humanitarian crisis in Syria is unprecedented which is why we decided to undertake one of the largest resettlement schemes in the UK’s history.

“The hard work will continue throughout this Parliament as we provide those who have been traumatised and damaged by war with a safe environment and the chance to rebuild their lives.”

Barnet has been housing Syrian refugees with support from central government, which fully funds the first year of resettlement using the overseas aid budget. The VPR scheme is voluntary, but so far more than 200 local authorities have housed refugees.

In September 2015, the Government expanded the scheme to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Syrians by the end of this Parliament in 2020. Over the same period, we will resettle up to 3,000 individuals from the Middle East and North Africa through our Vulnerable Children's Resettlement Scheme.

As well as providing accommodation, this government is also committed to supporting the integration of refugees from the VPR scheme within their local communities.  In recognition of this, local authorities have been provided with an additional £10m in English language funding to help Syrian families improve their English language skills in order to help them find work, gain independence and give back to the communities that welcomed them in.

In addition to resettling 23,000 refugees, the UK Government is the second largest donors in humanitarian assistance, pledging £2.3 billion in aid to Syria and the neighbouring countries.

The Government also continues to provide vital support for vulnerable children fleeing conflict and danger, providing refuge or other forms of leave to more than 8,000 children last year alone including more than 900 unaccompanied children from Europe.

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