New figures from the Home Office show that more than 8,500 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the UK under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement (VPR) scheme.
The latest quarterly Home Office migration statistics show that over 1,200 refugees arrived through the scheme in the second quarter of 2017.
More than one-third of the 20,000 refugees the UK government pledged to resettle by 2020 are now in the UK approximately half of those who have arrived under the scheme are children, said the Home Office.
The figures also show that Syrian refugees have been housed by more than 200 local authorities across the UK.
Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said:
“I’m delighted with the significant progress we have made with the VPR scheme – over 8,500 people have been resettled and more are arriving every month.
“We will continue to work with local authorities and the UNHCR – whose hard work so far has made sure that the scheme is a success – to provide those who have been displaced by conflict with a safe environment and the opportunity to rebuild their lives.”
In September 2015, the government pledged to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Syrians who had fled the conflict in Syria to neighbouring countries by 2020.
In July 2017, the scheme was expanded to include refugees of all nationalities.
Additionally, 3,000 children and adults will be resettled from the Middle East and North Africa through the UK’s Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme.
In July, the government also announced £1 million in funding to help communities support refugees through the Community Sponsorship scheme
the scheme has been running for a year and 53 refugees have been welcomed by ten community groups across the UK.
The government has also already pledged £10m in English language funding to help Syrian families improve their English language skills, which it says it is vital to help those coming to the UK find work, gain independence – and give back to the communities that have welcomed them.
The UK government remains the second largest donor in humanitarian assistance and has pledged £2.46 billion in aid to Syria and the neighbouring countries.
The government has also provided humanitarian support of more than £100m in response to the Mediterranean migration crisis since October 2015. This includes providing winter clothing, hygiene kits and emergency medical care for those rescued at sea, as well as protection for women and girls at risk of being trafficked.
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