Opposition Day — [19th Allotted Day] — UNHCR Syrian Refugees Programme

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:59 pm on 29th January 2014.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Secretary of State for the Home Department 1:59 pm, 29th January 2014

I thank my hon. Friend for his comments and for his reference to the tradition in Wales of supporting people who are refugees from humanitarian conflicts.

Earlier this month a team of MPs, led by my hon. Friend Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, travelled to the Syrian border in Turkey to see how refugees there are being helped by humanitarian aid. The Select Committee on International Development also held a special oral evidence session focusing on the British response, and I commend my hon. Friend Mark Pritchard for his campaigning on this issue. It is clear that everyone in the House understands the obligation this country and the international community has towards helping the Syrian people during this time of great crisis.

Last week the Prime Minister was clear that given the scale of the current refugee crisis, with more than 11 million Syrians in dire need of humanitarian aid, the greatest need is in the region—that is where we can make the deepest impact. He was equally clear that, where there are particularly compelling cases of vulnerable people at grave risk, we will look at those cases. Earlier today, I announced to the House that, following consultations with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in London, the Government will be launching a new programme to provide emergency sanctuary in the UK for particularly vulnerable displaced Syrians, including women and girls at risk, survivors of torture and violence, and children at risk or in need of medical care.