CITY TAKES MORE SYRIAN REFUGEES THAN REST OF UK
More than 100 fleeing war-torn state get new home in Cov
COVENTRY has taken in more Syrian refugees than any other UK city according to new government statistics.
The city provided a home for 105 people fleeing the war-torn state between October and March.
The refugees were given a home in Coventry as part of the government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.
Coventry City Council was one of 71 councils around the country which volunteered to be part of the scheme.
Since March more have arrived and the number now stands at 194.
Coun Abdul Khan (Lab, Foleshill) deputy leader of Coventry City Council, said: “Coventry cases have included refugees with significant medical needs and a number of families affected by the violence of the conflict in Syria.
“We have accepted them because it is the right thing to do.
“The refugees have experienced some of the worst aspects of human behaviour, and when in September 2015 we were asked to offer further places to the national scheme, we did so.”
Out of a total of 1,602 Syrians Nottingham took in 81 the next highest amount behind Coventry.
Regionally Scotland took in the highest share, helping 610 people, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber who took in 171.
None were resettled in the North West and 33 were placed in London.
David Cameron announced plans to step up the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme last year after public outcry over the fate of those driven to attempt to make the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean by boat.
The Government has pledged to resettle 20,000 people from the region around the war-torn country by 2020.
Council bosses say all the costs are met by central government.
Jane Moore, director of public health at Coventry City Council said: “More than two years ago the Home Office wrote to all local authorities in the UK seeking volunteers to resettle Syrian Refugees in desperate need – people judged by United Nations High Commission for Refugees to be the most vulnerable and at risk of harm.
“After internal discussions and consultation with partners across the city, and with agreement and support of all councillors, we offered Coventry as a host city to the national government.
“Whilst the whole community has come together to welcome refugees into their communities we have only been able to resettle refugees so successfully because of the efforts of staff and volunteers at Citizens Advice Coventry, the Coventry law Centre and the Coventry Refugee Centre.
“Local faith leaders, especially Bishop Christopher, have also welcomed everyone so warmly.
“NHS staff, doctors and nurses, paramedics and managers – have also been amazing – giving the care needed in the most pressing of circumstances.” A Home Office spokesman said: “The UK has been at the forefront of the international response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria. We have committed to resettling 20,000 Syrian refugees through our Vulnerable Persons Resettlement (VPR) scheme over the course of this parliament - and have already provided refuge to more than 1,600 people in need of protection.
“There has been a tremendous amount of goodwill from local authorities and the private, non-governmental and voluntary sectors as well as from individuals across the UK.
“We are very grateful for all the local authorities who have offered their support and will continue to work with them to identify further opportunities to resettle Syrian families.”