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Wales stands ready to welcome Syrian refugees

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

The first refugees from the conflict in Syria are to arrive in Wales this week, the Welsh Government has said.
Monday 07 December 2015

Torfaen, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot and Caerphilly will welcome around 50 Syrian refugees, ensuring they are resettled in the community and able to begin rebuilding their lives before Christmas.

The refugees arriving in Wales this week under the Syrian Resettlement Programme have been identified as the most vulnerable and come directly from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. They have been through a thorough two-stage vetting process before arrival and have been granted five years full humanitarian protection, meaning they will be able to live, work and contribute to Welsh communities.

The Minister for Communities, Lesley Griffiths, chairs the Syrian Refugee taskforce, which is leading the Wales-wide approach to the refugee crisis, and is working closely with local authorities and partners to prepare for the arrival and resettlement of refugees.

The Minister said:

“Wales has a strong history of welcoming refugees from all over the world. I am proud to say this tradition is continuing with every Welsh local authority confirming they are open to welcoming Syrian refugees to their communities, once the necessary support services are in place.

“I have been heartened to see the public outpouring of support for refugees from the people of Wales over the past weeks and months. I am confident people in Torfaen, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot and Caerphilly will provide a warm welcome to the vulnerable people and families arriving this week and will help them become part of Welsh life.

“The arrival of refugees this week is the start of a long-term process of ensuring they are given all the help they need to rebuild their lives and are able to make a valuable contribution to Welsh society.”

Councillor Bob Wellington CBE (Torfaen), WLGA Leader said:

“Since the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria began to unfold this summer, local government as a whole in Wales has been clear in its intent to play a lead role in helping to resettle Syrian refugees.

“The refugees we welcome this week have seen their lives torn apart by the brutalities of war, and in many cases will have witnessed a level of atrocity that is almost unconceivable to people in Wales.  We will be helping to resettle some of the most vulnerable people who have been displaced by this ongoing conflict.

“While these refugees have been forced to flee the desperation and chaos of a war-zone, they will be met with a highly coordinated and a well organised response.  Local councils have been working closely with the Home Office, the Welsh Government and a wide range of local partners to prepare for their arrival and to support their resettlement.  

“This is the start of a long-term, moral and compassionate response by local councils in Wales aimed at offering support to those who have experienced the most inhumane of circumstances. We will now ensure these families are allowed the space and privacy they so desperately need to settle and begin to rebuild their new lives.”  

Chair of the Wales Strategic Migration Partnership, Aled Edwards, said:

“We are pleased to welcome vulnerable Syrian refugees to Wales.  Building on well-established and effective working relationships with local councils and voluntary and community organisations across Wales, we will do all we can to ensure that these refugees receive a sensitive and warm welcome and are able to settle well into  our communities making a valuable contribution to Welsh society as other refugee communities have done over the years.”

Salah Mohamed, Chief Executive of the Welsh Refugee Council, said:

“People across Wales are ready to welcome refugees from Syria with compassion and kindness. The Welsh Refugee Coalition is inspired and motivated by this ground swell of support for refugees in Wales. We know that it will make a huge difference to the lives of newly arrived Syrian refugees.

“We are ready to play our part to welcome the new Syrian arrivals to Wales, in partnership with local authorities the third sector and communities across the country. We will work with partners to ensure that children and adults are healthy, safe and achieving as they rebuild their lives in our country.”



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Resettling Syrian refugees


People and communities 07 December 2015 Programme for Government - Supporting People Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales

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