Norfolk MP, local Bishop and community leaders highlight Norfolk's role in tackling refugee crisis
Today, Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman and the Bishop of Norwich came together with local leaders at Norwich Cathedral to discuss how to tackle the refugee crisis and why Syria matters to Norfolk.
As the Syrian conflict continues to force people to flee their homes,
George Freeman MP spoke about his recent visit to Lebanon where he met with Syrian refugees first hand and saw the lifesaving impact of UK aid. The MP visited the Malala school with Save the Children and spoke with displaced Syrian girls about the role that UK aid is playing in educating them and ensuring that we aren’t losing a generation of girls who could be Syria’s future teachers and doctors.
Speaking along the MP, The Bishop of Norwich praised Norfolk for its leadership in welcoming refugees to the local area and the decision by the Norfolk County Council to accept 50 Syrian refugees as part of the government’s Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme.
One such Syrian refugee, Mohamed Eldaly, spoke about his experience leaving Aleppo two years ago to resettle in Norwich. Having arrived unable to speak English, two years later Mohamed is now studying for his Masters Degree in Molecular Medicine at the University of East Anglia.
Mid Norfolk MP, George Freeman said: “Having recently returned from Lebanon, I believe that it is absolutely right that the UK invests in the Syrian region to help prevent this crisis escalating. While in Lebanon, I visited the Malala school for displaced Syrian girls and feel incredibly proud of Britain and the role that UK aid has played in educating girls to ensure that we aren't losing a generation who will be vital in the rebuilding of Syria. The refugees that I met all want to return home. We want to give them the opportunity to rebuild their country rather than forcing them to take the perilous journey across the Mediterranean in search of a new life. This is not only the right thing to do but in Britain’s national interest to support Syria to become a stable and prosperous country.”
The Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich said: “While it is no longer front-page news, as the devastating war in Syria continues into its eighth year, the need to provide sanctuary to refugees grows. Norfolk has a great tradition of welcoming refugees, and it’s been incredible to see the outpouring of kindness and support from Norfolk’s faith groups, charities and local businesses for refugees since the crisis began. Our culture and economy benefit from embracing them into our community. We are proud to welcome refugees to Norfolk and I urge communities around the UK to do the same.”
Chief Executive of the Coalition for Global Prosperity, Theo Clarke said: “I am proud that Britain is a force for good in the world. Supporting those fleeing the conflict in Syria is not only the right thing to do but in Britain’s national interest. The public is right to want to know that their money is being spent well, and having seen UK aid first hand, and visited multiple refugee camps myself in the last year, I know that UK aid is making a difference to millions of live and making the world more stable, secure and prosperous for us all.”