First group of vulnerable Syrians reach UK in refugee resettlement scheme

UK has already started to resettle vulnerable Syrian refugees. The first group of Syrian refugees arrived in the UK on 25th March 2014 as part of the government’s Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme.

The VPR scheme which was announced in January by the Home Secretary Theresa May will provide protection in the UK to vulnerable Syrian refugees who are at grave risk.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is helping the UK government identify those individuals who are most vulnerable and cannot be adequately protected in the region.

“I am pleased to confirm that the first group of Syrians have now arrived in the UK. We believe this VPR scheme will make a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable Syrians by giving them protection and support in the UK,” Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said. “We also remain committed to providing regional support to those affected by the crisis. We have donated £600m to the relief effort so far, making the UK the largest bi-lateral donor after the USA.”

Syrian refugees admitted to the UK under the VPR scheme will be granted five years’ Humanitarian Protection, with all the rights and benefits that go with that status. This includes access to public funds, access to the labour market and the possibility of family reunion.

UNHCR representative to the UK Roland Schilling welcomed the arrival of the first Syrian refugee families under the VPR scheme. “We welcome the UK’s contribution as these are critical and life-saving interventions for refugees with urgent protection needs and compelling vulnerabilities,” Schilling said.


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