Over 60 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum have written to the Prime Minister urging him to be bold and ambitious in the UK’s commitment to resettling refugees from Syria.
The letter, coordinated by the Refugee Council, congratulates the Government on receiving the first arrivals under its Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme but highlights the on-going humanitarian crisis in the region.
Signatories include Sir Menzies Campbell and Lord Rowan Williams.
Since the VPR scheme was established, UNHCR have 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.
The letter reads:
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.
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.
“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.”