Enfield Council ‘seeking to assist’ Afghans fleeing Taliban

Authority one of many in UK to offer help, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Children in Kabul, Afghanistan (credit Ramin Rahman on Unsplash)
Children in Kabul, Afghanistan (credit Ramin Rahman on Unsplash)

Enfield Council is looking to help families from Afghanistan settle in the UK following the takeover of the country by the Taliban.

The local authority says it expects services such as housing and social care will be providing “much-needed support” to refugees under a recently-announced government resettlement programme, but has not specified how many households it might accept as part of it.

Earlier this month, council leader Nesil Caliskan co-signed a letter calling on the government to “accelerate efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the many thousands of men, women and children who have been displaced” after the Taliban, an Islamist group, seized power.

The letter, from London’s Labour council leaders, states: “We will work closely with London’s Afghan community and with our voluntary sector and national government partners to ensure Afghan refugees get the support they need to recover from the trauma they have lived through and start to rebuild their lives.”

It also calls for “proper support and funding” to enable local authorities to “plan effectively and provide sanctuary”.

Thousands of Afghans are scrambling to flee the Taliban as US troops and their allies pull out of the country following a 20-year occupation. The deadline set for the withdrawal of troops is 31st August.

The Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme was announced by the UK government on 18th August. It will welcome up to 5,000 vulnerable Afghans who have been forced to flee the country during the first year and up to 20,000 in the long term.

It follows another scheme, the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAR), which was set up last year to resettle people such as interpreters who had worked for the UK in Afghanistan.

A council spokesperson said: “Enfield Council is actively seeking to assist families from Afghanistan to settle in the UK. An Afghanistan resettlement programme has been proposed to support families with accommodation and support. This will come with government funding, and it is anticipated that services such as housing and social care will be providing much-needed support.”