Friday, April 26, 2024

UK councils offered Afghan resettlement funding

United Kingdom local councils who support Afghan refugees to resettle in the UK will receive £20,520 (approx $AU 38,000) per person, over three years, for resettlement and integration costs.

Local councils and health partners who resettle families will also receive up to £4,500 (approx $AU 8,500) per child for education, £850 (approx $AU 1,500) to cover English language provision for adults requiring this support and £2,600 (approx $AU 4,800) to cover healthcare.

The funding is made available through the UK’s Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS).

The UK Government said a further £20 million of flexible funding would be made available to support local authorities with higher cost bases with any additional costs in the provision of services.

In a letter to all local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland and to Northern Ireland Executive representatives, the British Home Secretary and Communities Secretary have asked more local authorities to now step up and offer places for people coming from Afghanistan. The funding offer is for councils across the UK.

The funding is based on the UK’s previous Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, but over three rather than five years, with more money provided in the crucial early period to help people settle and become part of their new communities.

“The UK is a proud democratic country, so it is unimaginable for many of us to live in fear of being ourselves or not having access to even the most basic rights. That is why we are providing a safe haven in the UK for people at risk, including women and girls and minority groups, so they can rebuild their lives safely in the UK,” said UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel.

A full flight of 265 people are evacuated out of Kabul by the UK Armed Forces on August 21.

“The funding we’ve announced will help new arrivals to integrate into British society, while giving councils offering support the certainty they need.”

Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick said he was impressed with the positive response received from councils so far, with a large number pledging their support.

“However, we urgently need more offers of accommodation to welcome Afghan families who have remained firm allies of the UK, working with our troops and our country so bravely in recent years,” he said.

“With this extra funding in place, I’m asking all councils who have not yet come forward to contact us with a firm offer of support to help these families secure the best possible start to their new lives.”

Under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, the government has committed to resettling up to 20,000 Afghans, of which 5,000 will be resettled in the scheme’s first year. This is in addition to the ARAP scheme, which has already resettled thousands of Afghans who have worked with the UK government, and their families.

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