Home Office yet to provide funding for Afghan evacuees, say councils

Local authorities providing support to thousands of Afghan evacuees are yet to receive any funding from the Home Office to do so, ガーディアンは学んだ.

Councils looking after those evacuated from アフガニスタン this summer say they are struggling to cope as hundreds of thousands of pounds promised to them by the government has not yet materialised.

The Home Office has pledged to provide councils with £28 a person a day to provide essential support to Afghan families in hotels.

But a government source told the Guardian: “Local authorities will be offered £28 per person per day to provide support to the guests. This will be backdated and we will be working with local authorities on how it can be claimed in due course.”

Georgia Gould, the chair of London Councils, 前記: “London boroughs have stepped up to provide emergency support for hundreds of Afghan families evacuated during the summer. Despite promises from the Home Office, councils are yet to receive any funding to cover the cost of clothing, medical supplies or the hiring of support staff to help evacuees with basic needs.

“We are urgently seeking reassurance from government that boroughs will receive this funding and that it will be extended to British nationals who have so far been excluded from this offer, which is unacceptable.”

The news comes after reports that the Home Office’s debit cards, known as Aspen cards, failed to activate, leaving new arrivals from Afghanistan with no cash. The Refugee Council said it was making payments of £7-8,000 a week in emergency cash to refugees.

Many people airlifted to safety from Afghanistan this summer are still unclear about their immigration status and not everyone has been told for which resettlement scheme they qualify and whether they are eligible for family reunion.

London Councils told the Guardian it had received 221 homelessness applications from Afghans who do not qualify for resettlement support when they leave the hotel accommodation they were placed in when they arrived.

Enver Solomon, the chief executive of the Refugee Council, 前記: “It’s alarming that families with large numbers of vulnerable children, many of whom are very traumatised, are having to live in hotels without the support they need and without any money of their own.

“It’s critical that every family is given the warm welcome the government has promised so that it becomes a reality rather than just an aspiration. Government needs to step up its efforts by creating across Whitehall taskforce to make this happen.”

A government spokesperson said: “The emergency evacuation of Afghanistan was the biggest and fastest in our country’s recent history. It helped over 15,000 人, including those who served alongside our armed forces, to safety in the United Kingdom. The government is working at pace to secure permanent housing for families and we would urge all local authorities to do their upmost to help support these vulnerable people.”