Dickson says everyone should play a role in welcoming refugees

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has said it is important everyone in Belfast plays a role in welcoming Syrian refugees, as the first groups arrived in Northern Ireland today (Tuesday).

Mr Dickson was speaking as the 51 refugees came to Belfast as part of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme, which is designed to help those most at need in the war-torn country. The refugees will be taken to a welcome centre for a short period before being housed in temporary private rental accommodation.

Mr Dickson said it was a chance to show how welcoming Northern Ireland can be.

“Eleven of this group are children, including a baby. That shows the impact on every life, no matter how small, of the violence ongoing in Syria and neighbouring countries. The 51 people are high priority refugees, including those who have survived torture, have medical needs or are at severe risk.

“It is therefore even more important every citizen of Belfast plays their role in welcoming these vulnerable people to Belfast and making their arrival a smooth one so they can integrate quickly and easily.

“We have a history of helping people in need. I know that kindness and generosity of spirit will be shown by Northern Ireland’s population again, in order to show these families we can help provide the safe and stable future they need.”

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