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Britain Has Now Given Homes To 1,000 Syrian Refugees

The government announced in September that it would bring in 20,000 Syrian refugees to the UK by 2020. There's still another 19,000 to go.

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A thousand Syrian refugees have now been resettled in the UK, David Cameron announced on Wednesday, fulfilling a promise to bring in at least that many refugees to the country by Christmas.

The milestone was reached in the last few days after charter flights landed in Belfast and Stansted yesterday. Refugees have been resettled in 50 local authorities throughout the UK.

Responding to a question during Prime Minister's Questions, Cameron confirmed that the UK had hit the milestone. He said: "I made a promise that we would resettle 1,000 by Christmas and I can confirm today that we have met our commitment to resettle 1,000 refugees by Christmas.

"The charter flights that arrived yesterday at Stansted and Belfast mean that over 1,000 have been settled. Another charter flight is coming today."

On 7 September, Cameron said the UK would welcome 20,000 people to the country in the next five years, announcing an expansion to Britain's Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme.

The VPR scheme aims to help the most vulnerable people in Syria and the surrounding region who are based in refugee camps. It also prioritises families with children. Yesterday, 51 refugees, 11 of whom were children under the age of 5, were welcomed to Belfast under the scheme.

Once in the UK, the families receive help from the government to find somewhere to live, school places for the children, and jobs for the adults.

Under the VPR scheme, the Home Office will spend at least £10,000 on each refugee for the first year they are in the UK.

But while welcoming the news, Labour have expressed doubts that the government has the correct processes in place to deal with a growing number of refugees who will come to the UK in the next few years.

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

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