United Kingdom Welcomes First 1,000 Syrian Refugees

Sources: IOM & Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

 

December 16, 2015 – Yesterday IOM marked the arrival of over 1,000 Syrian refugees to the UK since the government’s expansion of its resettlement scheme in September. This accomplishment represents a significant step forward in achieving the UK government’s commitment to resettling 20,000 Syrian refugees by the year 2020.

Under the auspices of UK government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement scheme (VPR), IOM, in coordination with UNHCR and the governments of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, is proud to serve as a key partner in realizing this goal. IOM provides pre-departure and transit resettlement-related services for Syrian refugees.  Prior to departure to the UK, IOM staff work hard to provide refugees with full medicals, all necessary travel documentation, and cultural orientation courses to prepare them for life in the UK. 

In addition, IOM organizes travel, arranging flights, providing translation en route, and escorting refugees throughout their journey. Since September, Syrian refugees have arrived on charter and scheduled flights to locations throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Moussa, 33, a Syrian refugee due to be resettled in the U.K., told IOM staff, “I am really excited to be travelling to the UK with the help and assistance of IOM and the UK government.  My dream is to provide better living standards for me and my family, [especially since] I have a new born baby.  I want to learn the language to work and forget about all the bad memories which I had in Syria. Thank you again.”

IOM UK Chief of Mission Dipti Pardeshi said, “This is a touching demonstration of the fortitude of the human spirit and an inspiring example of what can be achieved through multilateral and interagency cooperation. We would like to thank the Government of the UK, the refugees, and the governments of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq for assisting with these resettlement movements and providing visas. Such cooperation is particularly important given the many ongoing humanitarian crises around the world which show no sign of ending soon.”

IOM looks forward to continuing to work with governments, partners, and receiving communities to help ensure Syrian refugees have an opportunity to rebuild safe and healthy lives in the UK.

For more information, please contact Mallory Carlson at IOM UK, Tel: +44 207 811 6049, Email: mcarlson@iom.int

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