The news cycle over the past week has been dominated by images, stories and pleas for help from the people of Afghanistan. For many the debate in Parliament last week did not bring any clarity on how the UK will respond to the crisis - but we know the VCS across the country is already taking action to help refugees when they arrive here, to support asylum seekers and those with family and friends in Afghanistan, to raise funds and resources for humanitarian aid.
Locally, following the news about the Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme, Bromley Council has announced its support of the initiative. The government funded scheme is designed to provide safe refuge to those who supported our armed forces and have recently had to flee their homeland out of fear of persecution or worse under the new Taliban regime.
Councillor Colin Smith, Leader of Bromley Council said, “No one who has watched the distressing scenes unfold over recent days can fail to have been moved so offering our support is the right and decent thing to do.”
“They were there for our brave armed forces when the chips were down and it is now time to repay that debt of honour.” He continued, “The current situation will obviously develop and change over coming days and we are ready to have further dialogue with government about their exact requirements if and when that were to become necessary.”
This spirit has been reflected by others locally and a number of groups have asked us how can they help? In London, London Plus, the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership (VCSEP), the GLA and others are working to coordinate VCS support for Afghan refugees in London. They want to ensure that together we’re getting the right help to the people that need it and supporting those organisations that are providing that help. To this end they are hoping to build a list of London-based organisations that can be used to facilitate the matching of requests for help and offers of donations and assistance, as well as for signposting.
We’re asking for your help in order to build the most comprehensive list; using the link below, please provide details of any organisations or community groups that you are aware of that can provide any type of help and support for refugees or people from the Afghan community, whether as part of their core or supplementary work.
Support for Afghan Refugees
Deadline: Please complete by close of play Tuesday 31st August. Apologies for the tight deadline but due to the emergency nature of the crisis we’re hoping to complete the first iteration of the list next week, however we plan to retain this as a live document that can continue to be built upon over time.