Council Leader Indicates Door is Open for Afghan Refugees

Borough in discussion with Home Office on how it can help with the crisis

Particular concern for women and children under the new regime
Particular concern for women and children under the new regime. Picture: Hashoo Foundation

Afghan families will be helped to resettle in Hammersmith and Fulham after risking their lives to escape the Taliban.

The Home Secretary has said the UK government will take in 20,000 Afghan refugees after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on 15 August.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council is currently in discussions with the Home Office to see how they can best help with the crisis.

Since the Taliban took control of Kabul shocking video footage has emerged of desperate people trying to grab hold of planes and running to board flights out of the country.

A new scheme will see up to 5,000 Afghans eligible to come to the UK in the first year with those who are at the highest risk from the Taliban will be given priority.

Hammersmith and Fulham’s Stephen Cowan was among London council leaders who have called for the government to accelerate efforts to provide humanitarian assistance.

The statement said, “London is a city that has a long and proud history of offering sanctuary to those in need. We have concerns for the safety of Afghan women and girls and the long-term impact on children exposed to fear, violence and uncertainty.

“We will work closely with London’s Afghan community and with our volunteer centre 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.”

Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter has asked constituents in the borough who have family members trapped in Afghanistan who are trying to flee the Taliban to contact his office.

MPs have been recalled his Wednesday (18 August) for an emergency sitting of Parliament to discuss the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan.

A spokesman for Hammersmith and Fulham Council said, “Hammersmith and Fulham has agreed to take in families in need from Afghanistan and we’re currently discussing how we can help with the Home Office.”

Jacob Phillips - Local Democracy Reporter

August 18, 2021