What the Government is doing over Syrian refugee crisis

Prime Minister David Cameron meets Syrian refugee families at a tented settlement camp in the Bekaa Valley on the Syrian - Lebanese border. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA.
Prime Minister David Cameron meets Syrian refugee families at a tented settlement camp in the Bekaa Valley on the Syrian - Lebanese border. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

I was shocked as many of you were by the photo of Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi found dead on a Turkish beach.

The harrowing photo has spurred many of you to contact me asking what the Government is doing to help and I wanted to use this column to explain current action being taken.

David Morris MP

David Morris MP

The Government continues to be at the forefront of the international response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria – including as the second biggest bilateral donor of humanitarian aid, having already pledged £1bn.

The Prime Minister is right that we have a moral responsibility to help those displaced by the ongoing conflict in Syria, and I am glad the UK is to provide resettlement to thousands more Syrian refugees.

These refugees will come from camps bordering Syria, to discourage people from making the dangerous journey to Europe.

As you will know, the Vulnerable Persons Relocations scheme is up and running, and has already welcomed 216 Syrians to the UK. This scheme will make a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable Syrians by giving them protection and support in the UK.

It is important to note this is in addition to the asylum claims which the Government has been considering – and will continue to consider – under its normal rules.

Since the crisis began we have granted asylum to nearly 5,000 Syrians and their dependents. The whole country can be proud of the role we are playing in supporting the Syrian people at a time of great crisis.

But the only way for the violence and suffering to end is with a negotiated political transition, and I have been assured the Government will spare no effort in working to find a peaceful solution to the crisis that will allow refugees to return home.