First batch of Syrian refugees arrive in Britain

London, March 26: The first batch of Syrian refugees has arrived in Britain as part of a government scheme aimed at supporting several hundred of the “most vulnerable” over the next three years, the British Home Office said.

The refugees would be granted five years’ humanitarian protection under Britain’s Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme, with the rights and benefits that go with that status, including access to public funds and the labour market and the possibility of family reunion, Xinhua reported Tuesday citing the Home Office.

“With today’s arrival of the first Syrian refugee families under the VPR scheme, the UK has joined international efforts to provide solutions for Syrian refugees in the form of resettlement or relocation to safe third countries,” said Roland Schilling, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees representative to Britain.

A number of local authorities in Britain have already signed up to support the relocation scheme, with further discussions ongoing with other authorities, the office said.

Announced by the home office in January, the VPR scheme aims to provide protection in the country to “particularly vulnerable Syrian refugees who are at grave risk”.

The home office added that Britain has received around 3,800 Syrian asylum seekers since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, but did not provide concrete numbers of the admitted refugees.

The next group of Syrian refugees are expected to arrive in Britain in April, the office said.