Latest Public Sector News

08.12.15

First 50 Syrian refugees to arrive in four Welsh counties this week

The first Syrian refugees are set to arrive in Wales this week as a result of close collaboration between the government and its local authorities.

Around 50 refugees will be directed to Torfaen, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot and Caerphilly under the Syrian Resettlement Programme.

The displaced victims, hailing directly from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, have been identified as some of the most vulnerable after a two-stage vetting process.

They have been granted five years of full humanitarian protection, meaning they will be allowed to live and work in Welsh communities.

Communities minister Lesley Griffiths said this will build on Wales’ “strong history of welcoming refugees from all over the world”. Indeed, all 22 councils in the country had already signed up to accommodate them in October.

Griffiths, who chairs the Syrian Refugee Taskforce, is leading the Wales-wide approach to the crisis and working closely with councils and government partners to prepare for their arrival.

“I have been heartened to see the public outpouring of support for refugees from the people of Wales over the past weeks and months. I am confident the people in Torfaen, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot and Caerphilly will provide a warm welcome to the vulnerable people and families arriving this week, and will help them become part of Welsh life.

“The arrival of refugees this week is the start of a long-term process of ensuring they are given all the help they need to rebuild their lives and are able to make a valuable contribution to Welsh society.”

Cllr Bob Wellington, leader of the Welsh LGA, said the refugees will be met with a “highly coordinated and well organised response”.

“Local councils have been working closely with the Home Office, the Welsh government and a wide range of local partners to prepare for their arrival and to support their resettlement,” he continued.

“This is the start of a long-term, moral and compassionate response by local councils in Wales aimed at offering support to those who have experienced the most inhumane of circumstances. We will now ensure these families are allowed the space and privacy they so desperately need to settle and begin to rebuild their new lives.”

Meanwhile, in the rest of the UK, the government is being urged to show more compassion towards refugees who, after travelling to the UK from other European countries, now face deportation.

(Top image c. Kerstin Joensson, PA Images)

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