£5 million in local council funding planned to help Afghan refugees

Funds totalling £5 million will be available to local councils to help Afghan refugees who are coming to the UK through the Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme, the Government has announced.

Councils in England, Scotland and Wales will use the money to help provide housing and support to Afghans who have worked for the UK in jobs such as interpreters in Afghanistan and now face threats to their safety.

The scheme was launched in April this year and was created to help workers, such as translators, move to Britain after the Government announced it was withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

So far the UK has secured the evacuation of 1,615 people since Saturday, including 399 British nationals and their dependents, 320 embassy staff, and 402 Afghan nationals under the ARAP scheme.

A separate resettlement scheme has also been set up to relocate up to 20,000 vulnerable Afghans.

The Afghan LES (Locally Employed Staff) Housing Costs Fund will provide a top up to help councils meet the costs of renting properties for those that need it.

Healthcare provisions, such as offering Covid-19 vaccines to those who have not yet been jabbed, are also being put in place.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We are proud to bring them to the UK, and this additional support will help make sure that those arriving from Afghanistan receive the housing and healthcare that they need as they start to build a new life here.”