North Northants must 'fulfil moral obligations' to help Afghan refugees

The council is considering the best way to help people caught up in the emerging crisis in Afghanistan

Friday, 20th August 2021, 3:10 pm
Many hundreds of Afghans are waiting at Kabul airport. Image: Getty.

North Northants Council has pledged to 'provide assistance' to Afghan refugees fleeing the country after the Taliban seized control of the capital city.

The Government has launched a resettlement scheme to allow people who helped allied forces during the 20-year conflict, including interpreters, cultural advisors and embassy staff, to move to the UK.

Their move, which has been heavily criticised by UK Amnesty as being 'too little, too late,' means that they have asked for assistance from local councils to help find accommodation for those desperate families whose lives could be in danger if they stay in Afghanistan.

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More than 100 local councils have already committed to providing accommodation and support for Afghan refugees. Bristol Council is supporting six families and has appealed for private landlords to come forward to help. Elmbridge Borough Council in Kent have a dedicated web page to outline the support they can offer. North Yorkshire has offered sanctuary to eight families. Seventeen out of 22 councils in Wales have pledged help.

In the past few days Melton Mowbray has already taken 12 people in and West Yorkshire is caring for 174 people.

Here in Northamptonshire there is expected to be an announcement in the coming days about the numbers of refugees that can come to our county.

Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of North Northamptonshire Council, told the Northants Telegraph: “I believe that we owe a debt of gratitude to the refugees from Afghanistan, many of whom have put their lives in danger to help us.

“I think it is important that we fulfil our moral obligations to provide assistance where we are able to do so.

“We are working to understand more about the situation, and what is required of councils so that we can best determine what we can do to help.”

Former Afghan Refugee and Northampton Afghan Community founder Obaidullah Khushull has offered his help to local civic leaders and told our sister paper The Chron that he had been left devastated by the takeover of his homeland.