Refugee crisis: Wales 'could take 1,600 fleeing Syrians

Migrants continuing to arrive in Hungary Image copyright Getty Images

Wales could take 1,600 Syrian refugees over the next five years as part of Britain's response to the crisis, the Welsh Refugee Council (WRC) said.

David Cameron announced on Monday the UK would accept up to 20,000 people from camps surrounding Syria with priority given to vulnerable children.

First Minister Carwyn Jones will hold a Wales summit on the refugee crisis next week.

The WRC is happy to take its share, but it wants it to happen more quickly.

Hannah Wharf, policy manager for the WRC, said: "We welcome the UK government's commitment and this rapid change in political and social support for the resettlement and relocation of refugees from Syria.

"But 20,000 over five years isn't fast enough and we can't wait until 2020 for this to happen. This needs to happen in the next year or so.

"At the moment Wales takes 8% of refugees who seek asylum across the UK.

"We don't know the details of how that will pan out with this new scheme unfolding but we do know that Wales is ready to take its fair share of 8% of 20,000 - that's just about 1,600 refugees to be taken across Wales.

"Local authorities have been having ongoing conversations across Wales about how best to support people who come into local communities.

"We know there's a huge surge of support."

Local authorities in Wales have said they are willing to "play their part" but asked for help to meet the costs.

The Welsh government has said the UK government should pay as the matter is not devolved.

Image copyright Home Office
Image copyright Home Office

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