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Key Facts about the UK Government's response to the Refugee Crisis

08/09/2015 5:24 pm

The Catholic Church's response in England and Wales to meeting the needs of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria will be coordinated locally through the dioceses. Diocesan coordinators are being collated and will be uploaded shortly.

Our first response is one of prayer. If you feel able to donate time, skills or money, you can make a valuable contribution to the humanitarian effort.

UK Government's Response

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced the UK government's response. Here you will find some of the key facts.

How many Syrians are eligible for resettlement in the UK?

The UK government has pledged to resettle 20,000 refugees from Syria over the next five years.

How will the government decide who is eligible?

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) identifies vulnerable families from existing refugee camps from the countries neighbouring Syria. Home Office officials will then assess those identified. The Home Office has an existing scheme for vulnerable Syrians - this is likely to provide the basis for the resettlement plans, although the current criteria for eligibility will be expanded. The existing vulnerable persons relocation scheme prioritises children, those in acute need of medical attention and the victims of torture and violence.

What will happen when the refugees arrive in the UK?

Local Authorities will work with the Home Office to identify suitable accommodation. They will be assigned a support worker for the first 12 months of their stay and those who can't speak English will be encouraged to learn with a view to being as independent as possible within a year.

How long can they stay?

Refugees settled under the Syrian vulnerable persons relocation scheme will be granted five years humanitarian protection with rights to family reunion and access to funds. After five years they can apply for permanent settlement in the UK.

How will this be funded?

Prime Minister David Cameron has said that money from Britain's aid budget will be diverted to support the resettlement pledge. Funds earmarked for overseas aid can be used for the first 12 months of a refugee's stay.