More than 1,200 Syrian refugees given sanctuary in Northern Ireland
More than 1,200 Syrian refugees have been resettled in Northern Ireland, new government figures have revealed.
The latest group of refugees, consisting of 77 people from 21 families, arrived in Northern Ireland on December 13 this year.
This is the eighteenth group of refugees from the war-torn country given sanctuary here. In total, 1,258 Syrians now live in the province.
The latest group will be settled in Antrim and Newtownabbey, Belfast, Lisburn and Castlereagh, Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon, Newry and Mourne, Ards and North Down and Fermanagh and Omagh Council areas
All of the families are receiving support from community and voluntary groups in partnership with statutory organisations.
A report by the Department for Communities said there has been "overwhelming support" from communities throughout Northern Ireland to provide assistance to the refugee families.
Syrian refugees coming to Northern Ireland are resettled under the UK Government's Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme.
The scheme resettles refugees who have fled from the conflict to the countries bordering Syria. It does not involve the relocation of refugees who have arrived in other EU countries.
The Northern Ireland Executive offered to receive groups on a phased basis from early 2016.
Those granted refugee status are entitled to work, access a range of benefits given to people on low incomes, as well as housing support.
Certain family members can apply to resettle with the person granted refugee status.
Belfast Telegraph Digital