7 September 2015 - Christian Aid today commended the Government’s decision to accept more Syrian refugees into the UK, but said the plan must include the immediate resettlement of 10,000 people.
'The Prime Minister’s decision to provide humanitarian protection to many more Syrians is commendable, but we urge him to be more ambitious,' said Christian Aid’s head of advocacy Laura Taylor. 'The need is real and urgent.
'There is an immediate crisis in Syria where millions of people are displaced, as well as many thousands of refugees arriving in Europe every day.
'The Government says it will resettle 20,000 before the end of the present Parliament in five years’ time. They must act much more quickly that than that. Children and the elderly in particular need urgent help before winter sets in.
'The UN refugee agency recommends that the UK resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2015. We agree. In addition, we should also be helping other refugees who have arrived in Europe in recent weeks escaping other conflicts.'
Christian Aid has added its voice to a call for all EU states to put in place a fair and mandatory sharing of responsibility for refugees arriving in Europe, and says the UK must accept a fair share.
Other measures urged by the Act Alliance EU, a group of European development and humanitarian aid organisations, including Christian Aid, which works closely together with the World Council of Churches, include:
• The launch of extra search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
• Improving reception conditions especially for the safety and protection of
• More opportunities for family reunification, recognising that family life is of utmost importance for the wellbeing of refugees, especially children.
• An urgent increase in funding for major humanitarian operations supporting refugees, which are at present badly under resourced.
• Greater co-operation with civil society organisations, churches and other faith groups who are on the front line of providing for the basic needs refugees.
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Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk