My right honourable friend the Minister for Local Government (John Healey) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
Further to the Statement laid on this issue on 23 February 2009, the first five eligible applicants to take up the Government’s resettlement scheme for vulnerable and older British people in Zimbabwe arrived in the UK this weekend. They will resettle permanently near to their family or friends in the UK.
The cross-government scheme, which is being co-ordinated by Communities and Local Government, was opened three months ago to help a small group of British people in Zimbabwe who are 70 and over or who are vulnerable because of their care needs or medical conditions but are unable to make their own arrangements to resettle in the UK. The British embassy is not advising British people to leave Zimbabwe and continues to provide a full range of consular services to those who remain.
The scheme was developed with the active involvement and support of individual local authorities, the Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, housing associations and charities.
To date, there has been steady interest in the scheme. As at 26 May, we had received 61 applications for resettlement under the programme.