Scotland has hit its target to provide 2,000 Syrian refugees with homes three years ahead of schedule.

In 2015, the UK government committed to resettling 20,000 people who had fled the war-torn country within five years through the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) agreed to take in 10% of the total number.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Monday (18 December) that Scotland had met the target, just two years into the five-year scheme.

"In 2015, I made a commitment that we would take our fair share of Syrian refugees coming to the UK and the hard work and dedication of local authorities across Scotland has meant we have more than met that pledge," Sturgeon said.

"I am proud that Scotland has welcomed so many refugees fleeing persecution and war into our communities so they can rebuild their lives here," she said.

COSLA president Alison Evison said: "Scottish local government has responded to its moral duty to help and protect those whose lives have been torn apart by war."

"Scotland, along with the rest of the UK, should be proud of the way it has welcomed some of the most vulnerable refugees 
and provided them with safety."

Statistics released earlier this month showed that Scotland has accepted one in five Syrians who have arrived in the UK through the resettlement scheme. Those helped by the programme include children in urgent need of medical care. The refugees have been resettled across all of Scotland's 32 councils.

The government has also promised to provide refuge to 3,000 child refugees from the Middle East through the Vulnerable Children Relocation Scheme.

Everyone resettled through the two programmes receive refugee status and are given a five-year leave to remain in the UK. At the end of that period, they can apply for indefinite leave to remain.

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