Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who has visited refugees on the Syrian-Lebanese border, wanted to see the “shocking” suffering for herself which she says underlines the importance of UK support.
The terrible scenes in Syria this week of civilian suffering remind us why millions of families have fled for their lives to neighbouring countries.
The images we see on our TV screens depict suffering that is real life for these families.
I wanted to go to the region and see for myself the human impact and talk directly to refugees about the challenges they face.
Many have crossed the border into Lebanon. Families uprooted from their homes, forced to leave behind their jobs, schools, and way of life. Living in makeshift shelters they face a daily struggle for things we take for granted.
The conditions are shocking and underlined to me the importance of UK support.
In 2015 the Government made an unprecedented and ambitious commitment to bring 20,000 of the most vulnerable refugees who have fled Syria from the region to the UK by 2020.
We work closely with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who identify those who are the most vulnerable including people requiring urgent medical treatment, survivors of violence and torture, and women and children at risk.
Today, we are more than halfway towards meeting our pledge, ahead of schedule.
Over 10,000 vulnerable refugees who have fled Syria, nearly half of whom are children, are rebuilding their lives in safety in the UK, and that is thanks to the goodwill and bigheartedness of the British people.
I am grateful to local authorities and communities around the country who have stepped up to enable this to happen.
Often it is local residents, moved by the heartbreaking scenes on their televisions, who call on their councils to get involved.
In Lebanon I met with a family due to be resettled to Britain – a mum, dad and their three young sons.
They spoke of some natural trepidation, gratitude to the people of the UK and, perhaps most importantly of all, their hopes and expectations for the future.
Two of the three boys told me shyly they aspire to become engineers while the third wants to become a doctor. Which, in spite of everything they will have been through, was uplifting to see.
But the answer cannot just be moving refugees from the region they are from and have lived in all their lives to the UK.
That is why we have a dual approach of targeting resettlement at the most vulnerable while supporting the majority of refugees who remain in the region and their host countries.
We have committed £2.46bn in response to the Syria crisis, our largest-ever response to a single humanitarian crisis.
Since 2012, across Syria and the region, we have provided nearly 25 million food rations, over 9.5 million relief packages and over seven million health consultations.
I know that behind all these figures are real people, with names, stories and aspirations.
These are the children and families that are being helped by the people of the UK to have a better future.
And for that, amidst the horror of the Syrian situation, we as a country should be proud.
We will always support those who are the most vulnerable with our help and protection.