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Anger over UK's 'pitiful' Syrian refugee response

by Desmond Busteed

Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen, said: "With at least 3.5 million people having been forced to flee their homes because of the civil war, the UK's response to the Syrian refugee crisis is pitiful. Compare this number with Germany, for example, which has committed to resettling 20,000 refugees.

"The UK has a proud history of offering sanctuary to those fleeing war and persecution but these figures show the government cannot hold its head high when it comes to resettling Syrian refugees.

"Given the scale of the crisis on Syria's borders, with Syrian refugees in Lebanon amounting to more than a quarter of the total population of the country, for the UK to resettle 90 is nowhere near enough."

Over 9.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria with more than 6.5 million people driven out of their homes by the fighting to other areas of Syria.

There are now over 2.7 million refugees in neighbouring countries

According to the Government, the UK has now committed £700 million to help those affected by the conflict, in what it describes as the UK's largest ever response to a humanitarian crisis.

The Foreign Office says the funding is providing support including food, medical care and relief items for over a million people including those affected by the fighting in Syria, as well as to refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.

Meanwhile, the number of people moving to Britain from the EU has hit a new record high in the last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The difference between people arriving in and leaving the UK has seen a big jump, to 260,000 over the 12 months to the end of June.

It means net migration is actually 16,000 higher than it was in 2010 when the coalition came to power.

Labour leader Ed Miliband says the Prime Minister's failed to deliver, he said: "David Cameron has spectacularly broken the promise he made to the British people. He promised to get migration down and it's gone up."

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