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    KL1 Radio Local Radio for West Norfolk

Local News

Extra money needed to offer homes to Afghan refugees

todayNovember 29, 2021 18

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More funding is needed by councils trying to help refugees fleeing from Afghanistan, according to local government leaders.

Extra cash is just part of the package of measures requested in a letter sent from the East of England Local Government Association (EELGA)

It has written to ministers explaining that the region has struggled to secure fair and sustainable funding to offer homes to recent evacuees.

So far, the region has helped more than 700 people who have escaped the war-torn country settle, but the EELGA has warned that with the Government’s commitment to supporting more people in the next few years more funding will be needed.

Members of the UK Armed Forces taking part in the evacuation of entitled personnel from Kabul airport in Afghanistan earlier this year. Picture: Ben Shread/MoD/PA
Members of the UK Armed Forces taking part in the evacuation of entitled personnel from Kabul airport in Afghanistan earlier this year. Picture: Ben Shread/MoD/PA

Linda Haysey, chair of EELGA, said: “The East of England has warmly welcomed over 1,000 people from Afghanistan into the region’s hotels and has provided permanent accommodation for more than 400 people with further offers to come.

“The region is committed to supporting newly arrived Afghans to rebuild their lives, to find work and education, and to become part of their local community.

“However, councils in the East of England continue to experience some key difficulties in relation to this Government resettlement scheme, which need further attention and resolution.

Linda Haysey, chair of the East of England Local Government Association. Picture: EELGA
Linda Haysey, chair of the East of England Local Government Association. Picture: EELGA

“We are raising a number of issues with the Minister for Afghan Resettlement (Victoria Atkins, MP for Louth and Horncastle) and the Home Office with the aim of improving communication between central and local government and coordination of support on the ground.”

Issues raised include ensuring temporary hotel accommodation is close to necessary support services, earlier communication to help accelerate moving families to longer term housing options, and funding.

The region’s Strategic Migration Partnership has recently offered more properties for the resettlement scheme, which are currently being assessed by the Home Office.

The British Government said it would help support 20,000 at-risk Afghans over a number of years, after the Taliban resumed control following the withdrawal of the last troops in the region in August.

The Home Office has been approached for comment.



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