Refugees to arrive in Derry at end of March

Children like Aisha, 6, and Sara, 4 (above) are likely to be amongst the group of Syrian refugees who will arrive in Derry later this year.

Children like Aisha, 6, and Sara, 4 (above) are likely to be amongst the group of Syrian refugees who will arrive in Derry later this year.

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A group of Syrian refugees could arrive in Derry as early as the end of March, according to a senior Stormont source.

The ‘Journal’ understands the number of Syrian refugees who will settle in Derry and the wider North West area has not yet been finalised.

“There’s a lot we can learn from what happened when the first group of Syrian refugees arrived in Belfast before Christmas,” said the senior Stormont source.

“However, all being well, Syrian refugees should arrive in Derry and the wider North West by end of March or by the start of April,” the source added.

The Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) are responsible for Syrian refugees travelling to the North.

The ‘Journal’ contacted OFMDFM to ask if they could confirm when Syrian refugees were due to arrive in Derry.

“Ministers have committed that further groups of refugees will arrive on a phased basis. However, the focus at present remains on the first group of refugees who arrived in December. It is important that we take stock and identify any lessons learned before further decisions relating to future groups are confirmed,” said an OFMDFM spokesperson.

The Syrian refugees who will arrive in Derry later this year will be travelling from camps managed by the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

In December, 51 Syrian refugees arrived in the North. Amongst the group were 11 children under the age of five.