Operation Warm Welcome: How 20,000 Afghan refugees will be settled in the UK

31 August 2021, 15:35

The UK has pledges to resettle 20,000 Afghan refugees
The UK has pledges to resettle 20,000 Afghan refugees. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Afghan refugees who have fled the Taliban's takeover are settling in the UK as part of Operation Warm Welcome.

The government initiative is designed to help those who fled the group's conquest of the country to rebuild their lives in Britain.

About 5,000 Afghans are expected to be settled initially in the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, out of a pledge to re-home 20,000.

The full details of the plan are yet to be revealed, but it is known they will be able to access free English language courses and use a "central portal" to view job offers, access support and get items like clothing and toys.

Read more: Raab: 'Low hundreds of Brits still in Afghanistan but UK will live up to commitments'

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A total of £5 million has been given to councils to provide housing support and all have been offered vaccinations, mental health help and trauma support.

The Government said Warm Welcome will "ensure that those who worked closely with the British military and UK Government in Afghanistan, and risked their lives in doing so, get the vital health, education, support into employment and accommodation they need to fully integrate into society".

There are still Brits in Afghanistan – estimated by foreign secretary Dominic Raab to be in the "low hundreds".

It is hoped they will be able to get to a neighbouring country to flee the Taliban's rule.

There are fears the new regime will carry out reprisals against those who helped international and Afghan forces and severely curtail women's rights.

The Home Office described Warm Welcome as one of the most generous resettlement schemes in British history.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme gives people who move to the UK the chance to live here permanently. Priority will be given to women and girls.

Tory MP Victoria Atkins has been appointed as the Minister for Afghan Resettlement.

Officials say national security will not be compromised because those processed in the scheme will pass strict checks.

The resettlement plan is based on the Syrian refugee scheme, considered to have been a success by officials and charities.

A total of 20,080 Syrians started a new life in the UK since 2015 as the country descended into an increasingly bloody war amid the rise of Isis.