South Lanarkshire will welcome Syrian refugees

Living conditions...of Syrian refugees in Sicily
Living conditions...of Syrian refugees in Sicily

TWO families of Syrian refugees are expected to be welcomed to South Lanarkshire before Christmas.

Arrangements to accommodate the families are being finalised after the council’s executive 
committee agreed that up to 60 refugees should come to the area in the first year of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (SVPRS).

Councillors heard that the scheme would provide assistance to Syrians who have fled to neighbouring countries as a result of conflict, including survivors of violence and torture, women and children at risk, and people who need medical care.

The UK Government has expanded the SVPRS to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees from 
camps neighbouring Syria by 2020.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government at Holyrood has said that Scotland should accept 1,000 refugees as a starting point.

Eddie McAvoy, South Lanarkshire Council leader, said: “I think everyone has been moved by the TV images which have shown what tens of thousands of refugees from Syria are going through.

“This is a genuine and appalling humanitarian crisis affecting men, women and children.

“When the crisis started to unfold and it became clear that both the Westminster and Scottish governments intended to act, we said that South Lanarkshire Council was willing to help. We have now had reassurances around safeguards to ensure people are genuine refugees and how councils will be funded to assist them.”,

The council leader continued: “We expect to receive our first two families before Christmas and anticipate that a total of 12 to 15 families, around 60 people in total, will come to South Lanarkshire in the next year.”

He added: “Private landlords will help us house the 
refugees, and I am sure they will receive a good Scots welcome.”