A NUMBER of Syrian refugee families are likely to be resettled into Monmouthshire at the start of the new year.

The first Syrian refugees for Wales are expected to arrive this week in other parts of the country. Torfaen, Ceredigion, Neath, Port Talbot and Caerphilly will welcome around 50 people to ensure they are resettled in the community and able to begin rebuilding their lives.

Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) agreed in September to write to the Welsh Government showing the council’s willingness to home families fleeing from the crisis in Syria.

MCC is signed up to the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme which offers the most vulnerable refugees protection in the UK.

Leader of MCC, Peter Fox, said: “A lot of work is going on between the various partners, agencies and UK government and I am hopeful that we will be able to receive a number of families early in the new year.

“It was pleasing to note that UK Government have made a commitment to the necessary funding for the whole term of the five year relocation scheme, this allows the authority to plan appropriately”.

It is not yet known how many families will be coming to live in the county or where they will be placed.

Councillor Peter Fox will give an update to senior councillors at next Thursday’s (17th December) full council meeting.

As part of the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme, refugees will be given five years humanitarian protection along with the right to work, claim welfare benefits and access health and education services.

The minister for communities for Welsh Government, Lesley Griffiths, said: “Wales has a strong history of welcoming refugees from all over the world.

“I am proud to say this tradition is continuing with every Welsh local authority confirming they are open to welcoming Syrian refugees to their communities, once the necessary support services are in place”.

Salah Mohamed, chief executive of the Welsh Refugee Council, said: “People across Wales are ready to welcome refugees from Syria with compassion and kindness.

“The Welsh Refugee Coalition is inspired and motivated by this ground swell of support for refugees in Wales.

“We know that it will make a huge difference to the lives of newly arrived Syrian refugees.

“We are ready to play our part to welcome the new Syrian arrivals to Wales, in partnership with local authorities, the third sector and communities across the country.

“We will work with partners to ensure that children and adults are healthy, safe and achieving as they rebuild their lives in our country”.