“The priority must be helping people in Afghanistan to reach safety”
By Mike Adamson, chief executive, British Red Cross
We warmly welcome the UK Government’s announcement of a resettlement programme that will provide safety for Afghans in need of protection.
Resettlement programmes, like the one for Syrians escaping conflict, are a lifeline for people fleeing persecution and violence, especially when the right support is in place when they arrive in the UK.
The British Red Cross is ready to work with the UK Government and other partners to welcome Afghan refugees and look forward to more detail on the plans and timing.
Five thousand people over the next year is a good start, but this new scheme for Afghan refugees should be part of a wider programme supporting at least 10,000 refugees from around the world to reach the safety of the UK each year.
Supporting those affected by the crisis in Afghanistan
The absolute priority must be helping people within Afghanistan to reach safety if they’re in danger, including those with family members in the UK.
Not everyone will be able to access formal resettlement programmes. In desperation, many will leave in any way they can.
THE BRITISH RED CROSS IS READY TO WORK WITH THE UK GOVERNMENT AND OTHER PARTNERS TO WELCOME AFGHAN REFUGEES.
The Home Office must make sure that those who reach the UK in other ways receive the support and protection they need.
This should start with urgently processing the claims of the 3,000 Afghan nationals who are already here, and have been waiting for months, if not years, for a decision.
Chief executive of the British Red Cross
Mike Adamson has been chief executive of the British Red Cross since 2014.
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