The Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced today (Monday 3 July) that vulnerable refugees of any nationality, not just Syrian, who fled the conflict to neighbouring countries and are unable to safely return to their home country could now be resettled in the UK. There has been no change to the 20,000 commitment.
In 2015 the government committed to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees from the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) by 2020 and more than 7,000 Syrians have already arrived in the UK through the scheme.
The policy change follows advice from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who identified that a diversified resettlement scheme was required to address the needs of the refugee population in the region.
The Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:
It is vitally important that we focus our support on the most vulnerable refugees in the region who have fled the atrocities in Syria, whatever their nationality.
I am proud that the UK is continuing be proactive and by expanding the scheme we are making sure our doors continue to remain open to the people who most need our help.
We will continue to work with local authorities and the UNHCR, whose hard work so far has made sure that the scheme is a success.
The government partners with the UNHCR on the Syrian VPRS to identify the most vulnerable refugees, from the areas surrounding Syria, for resettlement in the UK.
The UK has been at the forefront of the response and has pledged £2.46 billion to the humanitarian crisis.
In addition, the Vulnerable Children Resettlement Scheme will resettle up to 3,000 of the most vulnerable children and their families from the Middle East and North Africa region by 2020.