08/03/2016 12:05 pm
Globally 60 million people are fleeing war or persecution, and 19.5 million are registered as refugees with the UN.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that at least 1.15 million refugees are vulnerable and in need of resettlement.
The Pope has called on countries to ‘rediscover the gift of humanity’, and the Catholic Church in England and Wales continues to campaign on this issue.
“You have a special place in the heart of the Church, and you help the Church to enlarge her heart, to manifest her motherhood towards the entire human family”
Pope Francis addressing Refugees in Kenya, July 2016
The Church welcomes the Government’s commitment to accommodate 20,000 refugees from Syria as part of the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (VPRS). Catholic communities are actively involved in the VPRS, including through helping to resettle Syrians who arrive in the UK.
The Church also calls for vulnerable Iraqi refugees to be included in this scheme. The Catholic Church in Northern Iraq is currently helping to accommodate hundreds of thousands of the 3.2 million people internally displaced in Iraq.
Around 200,000 members of the Yazidi community have been displaced, and 5,000 murdered, by Da’esh militants in Northern Iraq. Many Yazidis have be traumatised by the brutality committed against them, however there are is a severe shortage of mental and physical healthcare available.
Over 1,000 survivors have been flown to Germany for physical and mental healthcare, but none has come to Britain for such care.
Since the liberation of Mosul began, over 73,500 people have left the Mosul district, with the UN expecting that up to a million could be displaced in the course of the operation, and many of these people will be vulnerable, but will not have access to the support they need.
We call on the Government to include Iraqis in the VPRS and remove the arbitrary distinction between people fleeing Da’esh from the Iraq or Syrian side of the border.
The Diocese of Salford, along with Caritas Salford, is the first Catholic diocese to host a refugee family from Syria under the Government’s Community Sponsorship Scheme. Together the Church and Caritas will be hosting and providing them with a home, as well as arranging healthcare, education for the children as well as welfare assistance for the family. Read more