LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will take in “several hundred more” vulnerable Syrian refugees, a government source said on Friday, after Prime Minister David Cameron said London was expanding a resettlement program for the conflict-ravaged country.
Britain had previously agreed to take in up to 500 Syrian vulnerable refugees, including women and children, in a three year program in collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
However the opposition Labour Party had urged the government to take in more of the millions of refugees who have fled Syria during fighting between government forces and rebels, particularly those who have faced persecution and torture.
Cameron, speaking at a security conference in Slovakia on Friday, announced he was “modestly” expanding the scheme to resettle refugees who could not be adequately protected in countries that neighbor Syria.
“Over the next two years of the scheme we would look to bring in a few hundred more than originally intended,” said a government source.
The resettlement program, which started last year, has only taken in 187 people so far. It was originally intended to accept up to 500 people over three years. That figure is now likely to rise to around 800 people.
Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Stephen Addison