London boroughs are responding to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan by playing their part in supporting families fleeing persecution.
A London Councils survey shows that alongside local authorities across the country, the majority of London boroughs have offered accommodation and essential local support such as counselling and school places to families in need.
As of Monday 31st August, 27 London boroughs have indicated a willingness and ability to take between 125 and 152 families coming into the UK via the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP). More offers from London boroughs are expected to follow in the coming weeks.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, Deputy Chair of London Councils and Executive member for Housing and Planning, said:
“We have all seen videos and photos of the terrifying situation in Afghanistan right now. People who once helped UK and US Armed Forces are living in constant fear of persecution and death. This is a humanitarian crisis and we all need to do our bit to help - as individuals, as a city, and as a country.
“Boroughs are offering to support as many families as they can while managing existing pressures and priorities. We do this standing shoulder to shoulder with councils across the country, contributing to the overall national response.
“We are also working closely with Government and the Mayor of London to ensure the funding is in place to properly support the health, education, housing and social integration of Afghan arrivals, in line with previous resettlement programmes.
“We know many Londoners wish to do something for the scared, exhausted families coming to our city. Right now, the best way to help is to donate to your local food bank and contact your local volunteer centre.”
Details of the new Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme announced by the Prime Minister on Wednesday 18th August are yet to be published.