Britain to take in hundreds of Syrian refugees
The country announced it would take in those most traumatized by the three year conflict
Britain announced Tuesday it would take in hundreds of vulnerable Syrian refugees, targeting those most traumatized by the three-year civil war.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said refuge would be provided for female victims of sexual violence, the disabled, the elderly and torture victims.
Though there is no set quota, the overall number is likely to be in the hundreds, his office said.
Britain will work with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on a case-by-case basis to identify those most in need.
"I am pleased to be able to announce today that the UK will be providing refuge to some of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees," Clegg said in a statement.
"We are one of the most open-hearted countries in the world and I believe we have a moral responsibility to help."
"The UNHCR -- which backs our new resettlement programme -- has said the highest priority should go to women and girls who have experienced or are at risk of sexual violence; the elderly; survivors of torture and individuals with disabilities, so that's who we'll target," he explained.
"Sadly we cannot provide safety for everyone who needs it, but we can reach out to some of those who need it most."
London has defended its policy of focusing on giving aid rather than offering a comprehensive resettlement program.
Britain has committed £600 million in humanitarian aid to help alleviate the situation for displaced Syrians, making it the second-largest donor after the United States.
The number of refugees has grown fourfold in a year, from 588,000 at the end of 2012 to 2.4 million in late 2013 according to U.N. figures.
Britain has granted asylum to more than 2,000 Syrians since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011 -- 1,500 of them last year.
"We'll continue to support the peace talks currently taking place in Geneva, because only a political resolution between the Assad regime and Syrian opposition will provide a permanent end to the suffering," Clegg added.
Amnesty International said last month that EU leaders should "hang their heads in shame" at their failure to provide safe haven for Syrian refugees.
The European Union has accepted 55,000 asylum seekers from Syria, according to the Amnesty report.
British aid organizations: Britain must do more for Syrian refugeesAid agencies asked the United Kingdom to join the U.N. resettlement program for Syrian refugees and welcome refugees from the war torn country World News
Activist says international aid not always reaching Syrian refugeesRouba Mhaissen calls for effective monitoring of international aid to Syrian refugees Davos 2014
$28 mln raised in UAE for Syrian refugeesAid will go to refugees facing harsh winter conditions Art and culture
Palestinian official: aid enters besieged Damascus refugee campThe delivery of food comes after reports that dozens of people in Yarmuk refugee camp have died of hunger and lack of medical care Middle East
Kerry backs Jordan aid call for Syria refugeesU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Thursday for more international aid to help cash-strapped Jordan cope with hosting hundreds of thousands ... Middle East
International aid for Syrian refugees falls short, says French first ladyThe partner of French President Francois Hollande, Valerie Trierweiler, visited on Tuesday a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon to urge for more help to ... Middle East
U.S. doubles aid to world’s burgeoning refugeesThe United States on Thursday doubled its aid to the U.N. refugee organization to some $890 million, as officials said every four seconds another ... World News
U.S. unveils $300m new aid plan for Syrian refugeesU.S. President Barack Obama will tell G8 leaders Monday that Washington is offering a new $300 million aid package for refugees inside and outside ... World News