Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has confirmed that the first group of Syrian refugees to be welcomed into the north will arrive by December.
The Mid-Ulster MLA said 50 to 100 people would arrive under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme and added that the move would not be an isolated gesture.
Martin McGuinness said:
“We not only have a political responsibility but a duty to respond to this crisis positively and extend the hand of friendship to those who are suffering from the worst humanitarian crisis of this century,” he said.
“The scheme will begin with a fairly modest number of 50 to 100 people but more will arrive in the future on a phased basis.
“Beginning with as modest number initially will assist learning and identification/resolution of difficulties.
“It’s important the care we offer extends beyond simply opening the door for these people.
“Therefore we will also be implementing a Refugee Integration Strategy to ensure a smooth transition for the refugees into society.
“This continued level of care and understanding will send a powerful message about our support for refugees.
“It will also highlight the fact that this is a global issue and we all have a duty to act to help our fellow human beings in their hour of greatest need.”