Leader of Calderdale Council says plans in place to welcome families from Afghanistan

The leader of Calderale Council has confirmed plans are in place to welcome families from Afghanistan.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 9:40 am
Updated Thursday, 19th August 2021, 9:42 am

In May 2021, the Home Office, through Migration Yorkshire, asked councils to support the voluntary scheme in welcoming families and individuals into the UK.

The initial dates for the families across Yorkshire to arrive were initially confirmed for August.

Due to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, alongside the withdrawal of UK and US troops, the first tranche of families have arrived in both Calderdale and Leeds after the required Covid-19 quarantine.

Calderdale Council leader councillor Tim Swift

Coun Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said: “Calderdale has a long history of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers from around the world. The council is a proud member of the Valley of Sanctuary, a growing network of local organisations who come together to create a welcoming, friendly and inclusive borough for everyone.

“We are actively involved in helping families from Afghanistan to resettle in Calderdale. We are currently supporting two families. We have worked with other families in the past and are keen to do everything we can to help more people.

“We offer support to families through our dedicated team for 12 months, including securing accommodation and giving advice on paying bills, accessing benefits and getting jobs or training.”

Refugee families helped to settle in Yorkshire

The organisation which helps councils in Yorkshire take in refugees and asylum seekers says it is already helping dozens of Afghans resettle in the county.

Migration Yorkshire said over 200 people are coming through the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy, for Afghans who are at risk because they assisted British forces.

So far 24 families, consisting of 174 people, have settled in Yorkshire and the Humber and another 10 are due to come to the region.

Dave Brown, head of Migration Yorkshire, said: “This region stands ready to support any humanitarian response to the situation in Afghanistan and to accept our fair share of people whose lives are at risk.

“We are proud of how Yorkshire & Humber have supported Afghan families so far.”

UK troops are desperately attempting to rescue remaining Brits in Afghanistan as the Taliban claim victory over the country.

Kabul airport has descended into chaos as British and US troops attempt to evacuate citizens and foreign nationals who have worked with their governments.

The Taliban have taken over Kabul for the first time in almost 20 years, laying claim to Afghanistan after an offensive which saw the group re-take swathes of the country.

Militants were pictured in the presidential palace following the withdrawal of foreign troops and exit of the country’s president, who fled on Sunday.

There are an estimated 6,000 Brits in Afghanistan, including embassy staff and aid workers. The UK army is now attempting to evacuate them from the country.

All commercial flights out of Kabul were suspended on Sunday, with military aircraft carrying out evacuations.

The Taliban’s offensive across Afghanistan has accelerated dramatically in recent days, with fighters taking the last major city, Kabul, on Sunday after the withdrawal of foreign troops and exit by the president.

The city has reportedly descended into chaos, with thousands of foreign nationals and residents heading to the airport in an attempt to flee the country.

Several countries including the UK and US are now attempting to evacuate citizens using military aircraft.

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