Staffordshire is to welcome Syrian refugee families to the county as part of the UK Government’s commitment to help the troubled country.
Staffordshire County Council is working with district and borough councils to prepare for the arrival of 50 Syrians, all in family groups, in 2018.
The agreement follows the successful resettlement of 51 Syrians in Staffordshire in 2016/17.
Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Communities, said:
All the refugee families are fleeing a terrible civil war which has shattered their country’s economy, education system and healthcare infrastructure.
We pledged to help those refugees requiring urgent medical treatment, survivors of torture, and some of the women and children who are most at risk.
Several Syrian families have already found peace in Staffordshire, thanks to the help from our district and borough councils, Refugee Action and other partners, who have been working with the families to settle them over the past 18 months.”
In September 2015 the then Prime Minister David Cameron announced the UK would expand the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement scheme to accept 20,000 refugees by 2020.
The scheme prioritises those who are most at risk and cannot be supported in their own country. The Home Office checks their eligibility, conducts thorough security checks and works with the International Organisation for Migration to ensure that a full medical assessment is carried out prior to arrival in the UK.
Gill Heath said:
The people of Staffordshire have helped those in need many times over the years and I’m proud of how communities have worked closely together so far.
The borough and district councils, Stafford & Rural Homes, local schools and local health services have all worked very hard, with Refugee Action, to make this stressful time a success.”