Thousands of refugees and asylum seekers who have fled conflict zones such as Syria, Eritrea and Sudan are being left destitute in Britain, according to a report from the Red Cross.
The figure has increased by 10% in the last year. The charity, the largest provider of services to asylum seekers and refugees in the UK, with centres in more than 50 towns and cities, expressed concern about the increase in the numbers of vulnerable and destitute people who have fled war and conflict being helped by its staff and volunteers in 2016.
Almost 15,000 (14,909) people without adequate access to food, housing or healthcare last year received food parcels, clothing and small amounts of cash, an increase of nearly 10% on the 13,660 in 2015. In 2014 just 11,268 people were supported. The youngest recipient of support was a child of one, the oldest was 92. There are many more destitute asylum seekers and refugees trying to survive across the UK than those supported by the Red Cross, but it is hard to get precise figures as many are living “underground” and do not appear in Home Office records.