Four million people have left their wartorn homeland – the UK has offered shelter to just 187, leaving more to risk their lives getting here on unsafe boats or smuggled in lorries. Two of those welcomed here recount their journey
Since the conflict in Syria began in 2011, around 12 million people have been displaced by the fighting and almost 4 million people, including 1.6 million children, have fled the country. Lebanon is now home to almost 1.2 million Syrian refugees (they make up over 20% of the country’s population); another 1.8 million have gone to Turkey, and Iraq has accomodated about a quarter of a million. Under a UN-backed government resettlement scheme, Britain has given homes to just 187.
Aid agencies and UN officials have called on the UK to be more generous in its approach to supporting those fleeing the conflict, in which between 200,000 and 300,000 people have been killed. So far, around 200,000 Syrians have sought asylum in Europe; Germany has opened its doors to 30,000 under a similar scheme, but the UK has resisted expanding its programme.