United Kingdom Welcomes First 1,000 Syrian Refugees

Posted: 
12/17/15

United Kingdom - Yesterday (16/12) IOM welcomed the arrival of the first 1,000 Syrian refugees in the United Kingdom since the British government’s September decision to resettle 20,000 Syrians from Middle Eastern refugee camps by the year 2020.

Under the UK government’s vulnerable persons resettlement scheme, IOM, in coordination with UNHCR and the governments of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, is playing a key role in realizing this goal.  

IOM provides pre-departure and transit resettlement-related services for the refugees in all three departure countries. Before they leave for the UK, IOM provides medical screening, travel documentation and cultural orientation courses to prepare them for new lives in Britain.

It also arranges their travel, including flights, and provides translators and escorts to ensure that the refugees arrive safely. Since September, Syrian refugees have been arriving on charter and scheduled flights at locations throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Moussa, 33, a Syrian refugee slated for resettlement in the UK told IOM: “I am really excited to be coming to the UK.  My dream is to have a better life for me and my family. I have a new born baby.  I want to learn the language to work and forget about all the bad memories of Syria.”

IOM UK Chief of Mission Dipti Pardeshi said: “This is an inspiring example of what can be achieved through multilateral and interagency cooperation. We want to thank the UK government and the governments of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq for assisting with these resettlement movements and providing visas. This cooperation is particularly important given that the humanitarian crisis in the region is showing no sign of ending soon.”

For more information, please contact Mallory Carlson at IOM London, Tel: +44 207 811 6049, Email: mcarlson@iom.int.

Syrian refugees arrive in the U.K. © IOM