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Respond ambitiously to Syrian refugee call, MPs tell UK Government

More than 60 MPs from across the political spectrum have asked Prime Minister David Cameron to be bold and ambitious in the UK’s commitment to resettling refugees from Syria.

In a joint letter to Mr Cameron coordinated by the Refugee Council, the MPs congratulate the Government on receiving the first arrivals under its Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme.

They however, highlight the on-going humanitarian crisis in the region.

Since the VPR scheme was established, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has issued a fresh call for countries to help place 130,000 vulnerable refugees from Syria over the next three years. The UK Government has not said how many resettlement places it will offer, saying the scheme will be based on need.

READ ALSO: First group of vulnerable Syrians reach UK in refugee resettlement scheme

Signatories to the letter include Sir Menzies Campbell and Lord Rowan Williams.

“We understand that the scheme will respond to need rather than to a specific quota which is welcome given the growing need in the region. UNHCR is now calling on governments around the world to help resettle 130,000 people fleeing the crisis over the next three years. We urge you to be ambitious and bold in your response to this call,” the MPs say in the letter.

Refugee Council Advocacy Officer Anna Musgrave said: "It’s encouraging to see so many parliamentarians calling for the Government to do more to protect refugees fleeing Syria.

"Sadly, the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the surrounding region isn’t going away any time soon. If anything, it’s going to get worse, with UNHCR predicting that the number of refugees could top 4 million by the end of the year.”

Musgrave went on to say that "It would be extremely disappointing if the UK Government’s commitment to resettlement failed to acknowledge the growing need in the region. The Government must continue to do everything in its power to help people find safety.”
 

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