Asylum

Home Office written question – answered on 27th January 2015.

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Photo of Richard Burden Richard Burden Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have (a) applied and (b) successfully resettled in the UK under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme to date; what the origin was of each applicant; which local authorities are participating in the scheme; and what the cost of the scheme has been to date.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

Holding answer received on 23 January 2015

We launched the Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme to help particularly vulnerable displaced Syrians, for whom relocation to the UK is the only option. In particular, the programme prioritises survivors of torture and

violence, women and children at risk and those in need of medical care. We are working closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to identify potential cases for relocation to the UK and it is not therefore

open to individuals to apply for places on the scheme.

Ninety people were relocated to the UK under the VPR scheme between the first group of arrivals on 25 March and the end of September. This is the latest publicly available figure, as numbers are released as part of the Home Office

official statistics each quarter. The number of arrivals under the scheme up to December 2014 will be published on 26 February. Those we have relocated so far have come from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Our main focus remains the vulnerability of individuals rather than where they came from.

There are a number of local authorities already supporting the scheme and more who have expressed an interest, with whom we are in discussion. We therefore remain confident that we can continue to meet the needs of arrivals in the UK

under the scheme as planned but we welcome further offers of support from other local authorities as the scheme progresses. However, as the scheme is based on vulnerability it would not be appropriate for us to release specific details of

where individuals are being placed, as this risks undermining their privacy and recovery.

The cost of the VPR scheme will depend on the particular vulnerabilities of those brought to the UK, and we are keeping costs under close review. Central government is responsible for the overall funding of the scheme, but we will

recover costs wherever possible, including from international aid funding schemes and potential EU funding schemes. We have put forward proposals to obtain funding from the new EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and are

hopeful of a positive outcome. The UK’s National Programme is yet to be agreed and until this is signed off by the EU Commission, costs to the Home Office specifically will not be finalised.

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