Asylum: Syria:Written question - HL2960

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 19 November 2014
Home Office
Asylum: Syria
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many persons, including children, have so far been accepted from Syria by the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme; how long they expect the scheme to continue; and whether people fleeing Iraq can qualify for it.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 27 November 2014

The scheme was launched in January 2014. It is based on need rather than fulfilling a quota; however, we expect it to help several hundred people over three years.

The first beneficiaries of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme arrived in March, and by the end of June 50 Syrians had been relocated to the UK. This is the latest publicly available figure, as numbers are released as part of the publication of Home Office official statistics each quarter; arrivals up to 30 September 2014 will be published on 27 November. Groups of Syrians continue to be brought to the UK on a regular basis under the scheme.

The VPR scheme is a bespoke programme designed to help particularly vulnerable Syrian refugees displaced by the Syrian crisis who cannot be supported effectively in the region, particularly survivors of torture and violence, women and children at risk and those in need of medical care. We have no plans to extend the scheme to include Iraqi refugees. The Government believes that humanitarian aid and actively seeking to end the conflict in Iraq are the most effective ways for the UK to help the majority of those affected by the crisis. However, the Government has separately, under the Gateway Programme, resettled a number of Iraqi refugees who have sought refugee in countries surrounding Iraq.

The latest publicly available figures for the VPR scheme and Gateway are available at : https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

The number of displaced people resettled under the VPR scheme and Gateway Programme are in addition to asylum seekers who lodge applications in the UK; the Government continues of course to consider asylum claims, including applications from Syrian and Iraqi nationals, under our normal rules.

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