Syrian refugees arrive in Leeds to be resettled across Yorkshire

Refugees fleeing conflict in Syria have arrived in Leeds on a charter flight ready to be resettled across Yorkshire and the Humber.

Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 12:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 12:40 pm
Residents walk between destroyed buildings in Syria (AP photo).

The 92 individuals, who arrived yesterday, have been brought to the UK as part of the government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement (VPR) scheme.

They were identified for resettlement from the region around Syria by UNHCR and have been taken into the care of eight local authorities - East Riding, Leeds, North Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, Sheffield, Kirklees, Wakefield and Hull.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: “I warmly welcome the refugees who arrived in Yorkshire and the Humber today, and I am grateful to the local authorities and community groups who continue to support what is one of the largest resettlement schemes in UK history.

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“The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria is unprecedented and that is why we remain committed to resettling 20,000 refugees in the UK by 2020.”

The individuals, who arrived at Leeds Bradford Airport, have been taken into the care of local authorities in partnership with Migration Yorkshire.

The scheme, based on need, prioritises those who cannot be supported effectively in their region of origin.

Priority is given to those with physical, legal or medical needs, survivors of torture or voilence, women, girls, children and adolescents at risk.

Hundreds of flights carrying refugees from the region have arrived in the UK since the scheme was extended in September 2015, with more than 9,000 refugees having been resettled under the scheme so far.

In August last year, it was revealed that Yorkshire has provided a home and support for a fifth of all Syrian refugees who have been offered a new life in England and Wales.

The region had housed 171 people fleeing the conflict, with 52 housed in Bradford, 50 in Leeds, and 44 in Sheffield within the first quarter of last year.

In addition to the VPR scheme, the government said it is continuing 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.

It also remains committed to accepting up to 3,000 vulnerable children and family members directly from the Middle East and North Africa, the Home Office said in a statement.