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AFGHANISTAN: Worcestershire to welcome hundreds of refugees

AFGHANISTAN: Worcestershire to welcome hundreds of refugees

Image: Google Maps

HUNDREDS of refugees from Afghanistan will be helped to resettle in the county with the first family arriving next week, it has been revealed.

Worcestershire County Council said it has made plans to welcome 250 refugees fleeing conflict and danger in Afghanistan in the next five years as part of the latest Afghan Citizen’s Resettlement Scheme (ACRS).

The council has also agreed to welcome 30 families as part of the government’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) which helps anyone currently or previously employed by the UK in Afghanistan – such as interpreters – who are at serious risk from the Taliban.

Up to 50 people will also be resettled as part of the UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) with the first family arriving in Worcestershire shortly.

Cllr Matt Dormer, cabinet member for communities, said the first of 30 families resettling as part of the ARAP scheme would be arriving next week in Worcester with another two families settling in Wychavon and Malvern Hills.

He added the council had a good track record of stepping up to the plate when it needed to, and work had already started to welcome refugees to the county.

At a full council meeting at County Hall on Thursday (September 9), Cllr Simon Geraghty, leader of Worcestershire County Council, said: “Worcestershire is playing its part in all the various programmes.

“This council is committed to working with all its partners, in an inclusive way, responding and welcoming those who face real and present danger if they were to remain in Afghanistan.

“We want to make sure those who have served and supported Britain’s mission over 20 years and those people that need to come to the UK are accommodated in a safe and secure environment.”

The refugees that will be welcomed in Worcestershire in the next five years will contribute to a government pledge to resettle 20,000 refugees across the UK over the coming years.

The refugee plans were revealed following a call by some councillors to ensure “all was done” to welcome and support refugees fleeing Afghanistan for Worcestershire.

Cllr Mel Allcott said: “We cannot realistically affect foreign policy, but we can make a real positive difference to the lives of many badly affected by it.”

Words: Christian Barnett, Local Democracy Reporter


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