Lo says Government must listen over humanitarian crisis

Alliance MLA Anna Lo has said the UK Government must listen to an Assembly motion calling for more to be done to ease the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Ms Lo said the Alliance motion, which received unanimous backing from other parties in the chamber today (Tuesday), showed the support was there for Northern Ireland to take more refugees than the scheduled three per cent of the 20,000 due to be brought into the UK by 2020.

Prior to the motion being discussed, a number of aid organisations and international development agencies joined Alliance MLAs at Stormont to show their support.

“Around nine million Syrians have fled their homes since the outbreak of civil war there in March 2011 but by June of this year, only 5,000 had been granted asylum in the UK. Our motion rightly stated EU nations have a moral obligation to assist people seeking refuge from war and persecution. Now is the time for action to back that commitment up.

“If Northern Ireland takes only three per cent of the 20,000 people over five years, that is only 120 refugees per year. When you compare that to Germany or France, it is clear we could be doing more.

“I call on the Executive to do everything it can to help that process by ensuring provisions are in place for Northern Ireland to welcome as many Syrian refugees as possible.”

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