Syrian children refugee camp
Syrian children stand in the snow in a refugee camp in the town of Arsal in the Lebanese Bekaa valleyGetty

Scotland will welcome a third of the 1,000 Syrian refugees due to arrive in the UK before Christmas. The share is much higher than the government's proportionate pledge to take 10% of the total figure.

After a meeting with the refugee task force, Scotland's Europe Minister Humza Yousaf said: "Scotland's response to the humanitarian crisis has been phenomenal and we have been working to ensure we provide a very warm welcome to those who come to Scotland seeking protection, safety and security.

"Of the refugees expected to arrive in the UK before Christmas, Scotland is expected to take around one third, and this is testament to the work of the taskforce, local authorities and many other partner organisations to ensure we are ready – and we are ready," Yousaf added. "It is a great symbol of our compassion that Scotland is expected to take a third of refugees arriving before Christmas, while making up only 10% of the UK population."

Arrangements are being made to handle needs such as housing, transport, health and social services. Yousaf said that communities would play a "crucial role" in helping refugees to integrate. The refugees due to arrive in Scotland have been living in camps bordering war-torn Syria.

Scottish Refugee Council's chief executive, John Wilkes said: "We warmly welcome the positive response of the local authorities ready to receive Syrian refugees next month. Some of these areas will be welcoming refugees for the first time and we applaud the speedy and spirited way they have responded to the refugee crisis."

Cameron has said that the UK will take 20,000 refugees from camps over the next five years, but has refused to be involved in any EU quota system. He has also ruled out helping with the thousands of refugees already in Europe.

Britain has faced calls to do more to assist with relieving the plight of refugees. On 4 November, the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols said: "So much more needs to be done both in welcoming refugees here and across Europe to make the response to this crisis both better organised and monitored, thereby becoming more respectful of the dignity of those seeking help". As a member of the EU, Nichols urged the UK to play its full part in this effort.