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Bishop highlights Norfolk’s role in tackling refugee crisis

Sat 07 Jul 2018
By Tola Mbakwe

The Bishop of Norwich has met with local leaders 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 Rt Rev Graham James praised Norfolk for its leadership in welcoming refugees to the local area.

Norfolk County Council has accepted 50 Syrian refugees as part of the government’s Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme.

 

“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,” he said.

“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.”

 

One 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 Eldaly is now studying for his master’s degree in Molecular Medicine at the University of East Anglia.

During the meeting at Norwich Cathedral on Friday Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman spoke about his recent visit to Lebanon where he met with Syrian refugees and saw the 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.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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