Syrian Resettlement Programme

Smiling Syrian GirlIn September 2015 the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced that the UK would resettle 20,000 refugees from Syria by 2020.

This means that the UK will be welcoming refugees who have fled Syria and are struggling to survive in the countries neighbouring Syria. The scheme is the UK's contribution to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) global resettlement programme for Syrian refugees.

Most Syrian refugees fleeing violence and conflict are unable to travel far beyond the borders of their home country. They often live in refugee camps or urban spaces for years; many children have lived their entire lives in such precarious circumstances. According to UNHCR, Turkey currently hosts well over 2.7 million Syrian refugees, while Lebanon, a country the size of Wales, is home to over 1 million.

With the Syrian conflict now in its 5th year, UNHCR estimates that at least 10 per cent of the 4.8 million Syrian refugees in countries neighbouring Syria will need to be resettled to a country where they can rebuild their lives in peace and security. This includes people considered especially vulnerable, such as survivors of torture, refugees with serious medical needs or women left alone with several children to care for and without family support.

Candidates for resettlement to the UK will have been classified by UNHCR field offices as refugees and selected on the basis that they have pressing humanitarian or security needs, are not able to return to their countries of origin and cannot integrate locally. The Home Office then makes the decision on who to accept onto the UK programme.

Our work with the Resettlement Programme:

The Refugee Council plays a leading role in providing specialist support to Syrian refugees who are resettled across the Yorkshire & Humberside region as well as in Hertfordshire.

Groups of resettled refugees are supported for 12 months by a team of staff which includes project workers, community development workers and volunteer co-ordinators. The Refugee Council works in partnership with local councils to provide a full support service including:

  • orientation on arrival
  • housing and tenancy support help finding employment
  • access to health services
  • volunteering opportunities
  • education and ESOL
  • banking services
  • welfare benefits
  • help accessing other mainstream services.
  • community development

Resettled SyrianAyham was only a young man when Syria’s brutal conflict began and his father was murdered. Two years ago, he and his family were resettled in the UK so that his little brother could receive treatment for leukaemia. Now Ayham works with the Refugee Council, helping other resettled Syrian refugees adjust to their new lives in Britain. Read his story.