UK Confirms Plans to Resettle Most Vulnerable Syria RefugeesWorld | January 29, 2014, Wednesday // 10:37| views
The UK's resettlement program is to be separate from the ongoing UN High Commissioner for Refugees scheme which has seen Germany commit to admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Some of the "most vulnerable" Syrian refugees will be temporarily resettled in the UK, Deputy PM Nick Clegg has confirmed.
He said girls and women who had been victims of or were at risk of sexual violence, torture victims, and elderly and disabled people would get priority.
This meant the coalition was ensuring the Britain's "long and proud tradition of providing refuge" lives on, he said.
The government expects the number of refugees accepted to be in the hundreds but has not set a specific target.
The UK's resettlement program is to be separate from the ongoing UN High Commissioner for Refugees scheme which has seen Germany commit to admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees.
"The coalition government wants to play our part in helping to alleviate the immense suffering in Syria. The GBP 600 M we have provided makes us the second largest bilateral donor of humanitarian aid in the world.
"But as the conflict continues to force millions of Syrians from their homes, we need to make sure we are doing everything we can.
"We are one of the most open-hearted countries in the world and I believe we have a moral responsibility to help.
"The UN High Commission for Refugees - which backs our new resettlement program - has said the highest priority should go to women and girls who have experienced or are at risk of sexual violence; the elderly; survivors of torture and individuals with disabilities, so that's who we'll target.
"Sadly we cannot provide safety for everyone who needs it, but we can reach out to some of those who need it most.
"On top of that, we'll continue to support the peace talks currently taking place in Geneva, because only a political resolution between the Assad regime and Syrian opposition will provide a permanent end to the suffering."
Clegg added that the refugees would not be allowed to resettle in the UK permanently.
"They will be here for a certain period of time and what we of course want and I suspect they will want as well... is to return eventually to Syria, when as I think everybody hopes normality finally is restored to the country."
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