Community leaders in Suffolk pledge support to Syrian refugees

Syrian migrants arrive at the coast on a dinghy after crossing from Turkey, at the island of Lesbos,

Syrian migrants arrive at the coast on a dinghy after crossing from Turkey, at the island of Lesbos, Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) - Credit: AP

Community leaders in Suffolk have pledged to give their support to help Syrian refugees amid the migrant crisis.

Jennie Jenkins, chairman of Suffolk Public Sector Leaders, said the group will “put provision in place” to meet the needs of refugees entering the county as they are relocated across the UK.

The issue was discussed by the group at a meeting on Friday last week, where it was agreed that all partners would have to work together in order to support the refugees.

This includes areas such as housing, health, education policing, and support services, as well as how the voluntary sector can get involved to help them.

Mrs Jenkins said community leaders across Suffolk have been “concerned” about the “ongoing plight of Syrian refugees”.

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She said: “It is important that we all make a positive contribution to respond to the needs of the vulnerable Syrian refugees who are being resettled in the UK.

“We will put provision in place to meet the needs of those who come to Suffolk in the coming months.

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“We appreciate all the offers of support that the public have already made and encourage anyone who would like to know how they can make a contribution at this stage to make contact with the organisations coordinating the UK response, who will know how to best coordinate their kind offer.

“Once plans for Suffolk have been developed, a way for people to make contributions locally will be established.”

A public sector working group is set to be established to co-ordinate the partnership work ahead of any refugees coming to Suffolk.

The news comes after European leaders today completed emergency talks on the migrant crisis but immediately faced warnings that the “greatest tide” of refugees is yet to come.

Heads of state were locked in talks for more than five hours as they attempted to overcome bitter divisions to secure a unified response to the crisis.

Following the meeting, European Council president Donald Tusk said they had taken a step in the right direction, but warned the “greatest tide of migrants and refugees is yet to come” and said the policy of “open doors and windows” must be corrected.

Before the summit in Brussels, David Cameron committed an extra £115 million to tackle the emergency, which the Prime Minister announced as he arrived at the summit.

An extra £100 million will be given to help refugees displaced in camps in countries neighbouring war-ravaged Syria, taking the UK’s contribution in the region to £1.1 billion.

In addition, the UK will provide £14.5 million towards aid in Europe, the Western Balkans and North Africa, including £2 million for agencies in Libya.

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