Co-ordinated approach in place to help refugees - McCann
Sinn Féin MLA and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann has met with groups supporting refugees to update them on the ongoing response to the refugee crisis.
Ms McCann said;
"No one can have failed to have been moved by the harrowing images coming from the Mediterranean and across Europe of men, women and children desperately fleeing conflict.
"There is a clear demand from the public for a humanitarian response and Sinn Féin ministers have made it clear there is a willingness and a drive to welcome refugees to the North.
"To do that we need to ensure we are ready to welcome them and meet their needs.
"I met today with officials from Belfast City Council and organisations which represent refugees and asylum seekers.
"We are already working across several departments to co-ordinate our response to meet the immediate and longer term needs of those who may come here.
"A strategic planning group has been set up to address the strategic issues and that will be led by OFMDFM. DSD will lead an operational group to look at the practical steps required in the short term.
"We will continue to engage with organisations who are currently supporting refugees in order to plan for the future."