NORTH Ayrshire Council is set to agree to resettle a further 40 Syrian refugees in the area - bringing the total to 220 by March 2020. 

Next week at NAC's Cabinet, members look likely to give the green light to expand and bring 'a safe haven' to 40 more people over the next seven months, following on from the 160 settled by the end of September of this year. 

The Cabinet papers state: "The humanitarian crisis continues in Syria with millions of people displaced as a result.

"Cabinet approval is sought for the Council to continue the humanitarian commitment already made and provide a safe haven to a further 40 refugees leading up to the conclusion of the current programme in March 2020.

"This will increase our overall commitment to a final total of 200 refugees resettled within North Ayrshire."

Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “Fairness and equity are at the core of what North Ayrshire Council is about and these values know no international borders.

“The refugee crisis, with the displacement of millions of families caused by war and conflict across the globe, is one of the biggest moral and humanitarian challenges of our time.

“We are proud of our resettlement programme which has given a second chance at life to Syrians who have experienced things that are unimaginable to you and I.

“I am absolutely delighted to welcome the Syrian families into North Ayrshire. The transition for them can be hard but, as a Council, we have worked extremely hard to make sure they feel welcome and secure in their new homes.

“This is a joint effort from our partners across North Ayrshire and various teams within the Council who provide assistance and support to the families.

“But I must personally thank the people of North Ayrshire and our close-knit communities who have made them feel very welcome. Our communities know that these are people – people who are in desperate need of protection, support and love. You have welcomed them into our community and helped them integrate. I know there will be a vocal minority on social media who oppose our humanitarian efforts but I also know that the majority will welcome our new families with love, care and kindness over the coming months and for that I am eternally grateful.”