Midlothian resettled 32 Syrian refugees – as similar Afghanistan scheme launches

Midlothian is home to 32 of the Syrian refugees housed across the UK, figures show, as the Government prepares to resettle another 20,000 people – this time from Afghanistan.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 5:00 am
The sign outside the Home Office in Westminster, London. PA

Charity Refugee Council praised the success of the Syrian conflict scheme, but said it is critical the Government provides enough support to help councils now welcome Afghan nationals.

Figures from the House of Commons Library show 32 people had resettled in Midlothian through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme by the end of March – 0.2 per cent of all those nationally.

And according to the latest population estimates, that means Syrian refugees make up just three in every 10,000 Midlothian residents.

The Government recently announced that the Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme will welcome 20,000 people trying to escape persecution from the Taliban – with up to 5,000 in its first year.

They will be offered the chance to set up life in the UK permanently, with priority given to women and girls, and religious and other minorities most at risk of human rights abuses.

The Home Office said the programme is modelled on the VPRS, which resettled around 20,000 Syrian refugees in local authority areas across the UK between 2014 and 2021.

Those escaping conflict in Syria were granted refugee status with full rights to live and work, provided with housing and support, and help to integrate into their communities.