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Call to help Syria's neighbours tackle refugee crisis

Britain must do more to support countries bordering Syria if it is not prepared to take more refugees, a Labour MP said after visiting the region.

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan witnessed "harrowing" scenes at Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan earlier this week during a three-day trip with Conservative MP Anna Soubry as part of an Oxfam delegation.

She said: "The thing that impacted me the most was just the number of children that were there, young people there without hope, without any form of work, and actually, all of them just wanted to be back in Syria, they wanted the conflict to end.

"They've fled awful things, they've seen things no human being should ever see."

"The people we've met don't want to be a burden on other countries," she added.

She pointed out that less than a quarter of the 20,000 people former PM David Cameron pledged to resettle in Britain by 2020 had arrived, and said the recent decision to halt the Dubs Amendment showed a Government "reneging on its promise".

During the trip, she met Jordanian MPs who told her they were "worried there will be increasing instability within Jordan as people become increasingly frustrated that they have been left to manage such high numbers".

"If we're not willing to accept refugees to the UK, we need to support refugees being where they are and help to make that work", Dr Allin-Khan added.

She is calling for greater investment in training and education for those in the camp, for the Government to honour its pledge to resettle more vulnerable people and to do more to ensure families fleeing the conflict are kept together.

She plans to invite Home Secretary Amber Rudd and International Development Secretary Priti Patel to meet with her to discuss Syrian refugees in the coming weeks.

The Tooting MP also said she did not believe the UK had done enough to stand up to President Donald Trump over his recent travel ban, after meeting a disabled refugee in Jordan whose hopes had been "dashed".

She said of the President: "I think he's a coward, he's a bully and he is regressing back through all the years we've spent working hard for equality, acceptance and integration and I'm deeply disappointed.

"If we as a Government are pledging to accept 20,000 vulnerable people, why shouldn't America? We all have a moral duty to do the right thing."

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