Operation Warm Welcome: UK Government releases more details of Afghan refugee resettlement plan

The UK government has released further details of its plan to help Afghan refugees resettle in the UK as part of its Operation Warm Welcome program.

It stated that “significant intergovernmental efforts are being made to ensure that Afghans arriving in the UK receive the vital support they need to rebuild their lives, find jobs, pursue education and relate to their local communities.” to integrate”.

Recent announcements include a permanent permit for Afghans “who have worked closely with the UK military and government” – and a £ 12 million commitment “to prioritize additional school places so that children can be enrolled as soon as possible” .

A government spokesman said: “As part of the New Immigration Plan, the government has announced that those entering the UK via relocation routes will be granted immediate permanent residency, and today (September 1) the Home Secretary announced that this will apply to Afghans who have worked closely with the British military and government in Afghanistan, risking their lives in the process, so that they can now stay in the UK indefinitely.

“People who have already been relocated to the UK under the Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) can apply free of charge to convert their temporary leave to permanent leave. This gives Afghans security and stability, their lives with full right to work and the opportunity to apply for British citizenship in the future.

“To give children and young adults the best start in life, the government is allocating at least £ 12 million to prioritize additional school places so that children can be enrolled as soon as possible, and to provide school transport, subject teachers and English-speaking assistance Help learning.

“Additional funding will be provided for up to 300 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships for Afghans in UK universities and adults will also have free access to English language courses. While many speak English through their work with the UK Government and the UK Armed Forces, and as translators language courses ensure that all of their family members can fully integrate into their local communities.

‘Families in need of assistance navigating the system also have access to liaison officers who can work with local authorities to provide them with a family doctor, national insurance number, school place, accommodation and more personalized assistance as needed help.”

The support for the Afghan arrivals follows what the government calls “the largest and most complex evacuation in living memory”. It contains:

  • £ 3m in additional NHS funding to allow Afghans arriving under the Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) to have access to health care and enroll with a family doctor once they leave quarantine;
  • all are offered the COVID-19 vaccine and so far more than 700 comers have left quarantine and received their first vaccination under the ARAP program, with more leaving and vaccination each day;
  • £ 5 million funding for councils in England, Wales and Scotland to help Afghans entering the UK through the ARAP program and to provide a top-up to cover the cost of renting real estate;
  • the government is already working with more than 100 councils in the UK to meet housing demand, with over 2,000 confirmed places;
  • the community secretary will hold a round table with council presidents from across the country in the coming days;
  • To take advantage of the generosity of the UK public and to ensure that those who want to help know where to turn, we will be setting up an online portal through which people can make offers of assistance to people arriving from Afghanistan;
  • this portal is already available for submitting housing offers and is currently being expanded to include further offers such as job offers, professional qualifications or donations of clothing or toys; and
  • £ 200 million has been pledged to cover the cost of the first year of the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Program, which aims to accommodate up to 20,000 Afghans.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We owe an immense debt to those who have worked with the armed forces in Afghanistan and I am determined to give them and their families the support they need to rebuild their lives here in the UK.

“I know this is going to be an incredibly daunting time, but I hope you will benefit from the wave of support and generosity that has already been expressed by the UK public.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “We owe much to the brave Afghans who have worked by our side and want to make sure they have the certainty and stability to thrive in the UK.

“As part of the New Plan for Immigration, I am committed to providing refugees who find their home here the opportunity to rebuild their lives in the UK with essential support to integrate into the community, learn English and to become self-sufficient remain indefinitely We ensure that the people who have fled have every opportunity to look to the future with stability and security and to make their new life in Great Britain successful.

Afghan Resettlement Minister Victoria Atkins said: “Operation Warm Welcome is a major effort by the entire government to ensure that those fleeing Afghanistan can start new lives in the UK.

“The stability of permanent leave, security of access to health care and the opportunity to get an education are the foundation on which those resettled in the UK can build.”

Health and Welfare Minister Sajid Javid said: “This support package will help Afghan evacuees start new lives in the UK and I am proud that we are giving £ 3 million to ensure they receive medical care , that they need.

“This includes access to prescriptions, wound care and bandages, maternity care, mental support, and infectious disease screening. We will also offer protection from a COVID-19 vaccination while they settle down and rebuild. “

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