Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced that the UK will provide refuge to some of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees.
“The coalition government wants to play our part in helping to alleviate the immense suffering in Syria,” Mr. Clegg said.
So far the UK has contributed £600 million to the Syrian humanitarian aid.
“But as the conflict continues to force millions of Syrians from their homes, we need to make sure we are doing everything we can,” Mr. Clegg said. “We are one of the most open hearted countries in the world and I believe we have a moral responsibility to help.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said that the UN High Commission for Refugees – which backs the UK’s new resettlement programme, “said the highest priority should go to women and girls who have experienced or are at risk of sexual violence; the elderly; survivors of torture and individuals with disabilities, so that’s who we’ll target.”
Mr. Clegg promised that the UK will continue to support the peace talks currently taking place in Geneva, adding that “only a political resolution between the Assad regime and Syrian opposition will provide a permanent end to the suffering.”
Several MPs and organisations including the Refugee Council have for a long time been urging the UK government to resettle Syrian refugees but the government has always refused to do so. Finally the government has changed its stance on resettling Syrian refugees.
Maurice Wren, Refugee Council Chief Executive welcomed the announcement saying it was “life saving news.”
Refugee Council launched an appeal urging all in the UK to email their MPs to vote in support of Syria’s most vulnerable refugees.
“Thanks to you, the UK will open its doors to some of the most vulnerable refugees who have fled the Syrian conflict, offering them resettlement places and the chance to rebuild their lives in safety in Britain,” Mr. Wren said. “This is a hugely significant development and is something the Refugee Council, with your support, has been calling for since July.”