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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 December, 2003, 12:38 GMT
Refugee projects in grant boost
Three projects in the north-east of England to help refugees settle in the region are getting extra government cash.

The schemes, on Tyneside, Wearside and Teesside, are sharing a 106,000 grant from the Home Office's Challenge Fund.

The Fund was introduced in 2001 to support local projects helping those who have fled persecution and been granted asylum in the UK to integrate into their new communities.

The three projects are run by Newcastle City Council, Sunderland-based Mental Health Matters and the Stockton District Advice and Information Service.

Home Office Minister, Beverley Hughes, said: "The government has made clear its commitment to support genuine refugees and help them build a new life in the UK.

"These are people who have been forced to flee persecution in their home countries and it is in all our interests to help them integrate, work and contribute to our communities.

"This year we are putting nearly 2m into a range of innovative local schemes - both new and existing projects - to help refugees play a full and active role in their new communities."

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