House of Lords written question – answered on 21st January 2014.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what reasons they have for not admitting to the United Kingdom refugees and displaced people from Syria who (1) have family members already lawfully resident here, (2) are orphans without near relatives, or (3) are urgent medical cases.

Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Government believes that the priority in response to the Syria crisis is to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced people in the region, in partnership with non-governmental organisations and neighbouring countries. The UK has recently increased its pledge to the Syrian relief effort to more than £500 million: our largest ever response to a single humanitarian crisis.

Syrian nationals seeking to enter the UK as the partner, child or adult dependent relative of a British citizen or a person settled in the UK can apply under the family Immigration Rules to join their family in the UK. In addition, any Syrian national granted refugee leave or humanitarian protection in the UK can be joined by an existing partner or dependent child under the provisions for pre-flight family members contained in Part 11 of the Immigration Rules.

The humanitarian aid we have provided includes funding for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to provide vulnerable Syrians with essential access to comprehensive health services. WHO are also supporting trauma systems, delivering essential supplies and augmenting health systems to respond to outbreaks of diseases. Across Syria the UK has already funded over 244,000 medical consultations to critically injured and sick people. In the regions neighbouring Syria, this funding has enabled the WHO to carry out 71,500 medical consultations.

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