Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

This coun­try has al­ways played a lead­ing part in re­spond­ing to global crises of the kind which so many are en­dur­ing as a re­sult of the con­flict in Syria. In re­cent weeks, some of the refugees who came to this coun­try be­fore the Se­cond World War, through the Kin­der­trans­port, have shared their mem­o­ries, dur­ing the com­mem­o­ra­tion of Holo­caust Me­mo­rial Day. At the end of the 1950s, Bri­tain led the move­ment which be­came the World Refugee ini­tia­tive un­der the aegis of the United Na­tions. Since then, we have shel­tered peo­ple seek­ing refuge from con­flicts in Com­mon­wealth coun­tries and more re­cently from other coun­tries like Afghanistan.

At the be­gin­ning of Fe­bru­ary, Bri­tain, along with Ger­many, Kuwait, Nor­way and the United Na­tions, is co-host­ing the Sup­port­ing Syria and the Re­gion con­fer­ence in Lon­don. Global lead­ers will meet with the aim of rais­ing sig­nif­i­cant new fund­ing to meet the needs of mil­lions of peo­ple caught up in this hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis.

As well as ad­dress­ing the need for what will be bil­lions of dol­lars of fund­ing, there are also ed­u­ca­tional and other op­por­tu­ni­ties needed to help those in­volved. Bri­tain has given aid to help pro­vide education to a quar­ter of a mil­lion chil­dren. We have also given food aid and pro­vi­sion to en­sure peo­ple have ac­cess to clean wa­ter.

Chil­dren have been par­tic­u­lar vic­tims of the con­flict and our govern­ment is work­ing with Save the Chil­dren to get help to them. In most cases, their needs will be best met by help pro­vided within the re­gion it­self. How­ever, Bri­tain is go­ing to re­set­tle up to 20,000 Syr­ian refugees. Vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren, in­clud­ing or­phans, will be a pri­or­ity.

This ex­panded pro­gramme will en­sure that more than half of the new aid is go­ing to go to help sup­port the chil­dren af­fected by this cri­sis, es­pe­cially those who have lost their par­ents or who are sep­a­rated from their fam­i­lies.

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