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WELCOMED TO THE BOROUGH: Afghanistan families supported

WELCOMED TO THE BOROUGH: Afghanistan families supported

Image: LDRS

Four families, with 18 individuals, fleeing Afghanistan are being supported by St Helens Council after being welcomed to the borough.

The Home Office says it is committed to providing protection for vulnerable people leaving the country amid the current crisis.

It has been ‘working quickly’ across Government and with international partners to establish the details of the new Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme (ACRS).

The scheme will provide protection for Afghan citizens identified as most at risk, such as women and girls.

The Government has committed to take around 5,000 people in the first year and 20,000 over the coming years.

Cllr Jeanie Bell, St Helens Borough Council’s cabinet member for safer, stronger communities and equalities champion, said ‘our thoughts go out’ to the people of Afghanistan.

She added: “We are now supporting four Afghan families – totalling 18 individuals – families of those who have worked alongside our Armed Forces.

“We will continue to welcome vulnerable people through resettlement as we have done for many years, including those leaving Afghanistan.

“We believe that all local authorities across the country have a moral duty to answer the call and help people in such dire need, as we in St Helens borough are doing, and we urge the Government to provide appropriate funding to local resettlement programmes.

“Nobody should live in fear and facing persecution, no woman or girl should have her right to education, work and freedom of expression taken away. We will continue to play our part in providing sanctuary for those who need it.”

Vulnerable Afghan citizens who were called forward by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office but could not be evacuated will be guaranteed a place under the resettlement scheme, the Government says.

The Government confirmed it is looking at options to ensure that ACRS provides a safe route for those who are most vulnerable and at risk now that ‘we are moving into a new phase for resettlement’.

It stated much will depend on the ability of individuals to receive safe passage from Afghanistan, adding that it will also work alongside local authorities to identify accommodation for those that arrive.


Words: Aran Dhillon, Local Democracy Reporter

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