51 Syrian refugees to arrive in Northern Ireland

Belfast, Dec 15 (IANS) The first group of Syrian refugees will arrive in Northern Ireland under the British government’s relocation scheme on Tuesday.

A total of 51 refugees, including 11 children aged under five are travelling from Lebanon to Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, Xinhua news agency reported.

A local welcome centre has been prepared for them, where they will be registered and receive medical, police and legal briefings.

However, the centre’s location was not disclosed due to safety reasons.

The 51 refugees are among the 20,000 Syrian refugees relocation scheme by British government over the next five years. They will be assigned homes in Northern Ireland to begin their new lives and offered help to find jobs or schools for children.

Local aid workers in Belfast said they have been overwhelmed by public offers of support.

Only a few people, around 25, organised a protest earlier this month in Belfast city centre to oppose the arrival of refugees, local media said.

It is the first time that Northern Ireland has taken part in the scheme, and the second group of refugees are expected to arrive between January and April 2016.

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