Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban invasion to receive support in Hertsmere
- Credit: PA
Refugees fleeing Afghanistan and the Taliban’s invasion will receive support in Hertsmere, the borough council has confirmed.
Thousands are believed to have fled the country after the Taliban seized back control in a 10-day campaign that ended with the capture of the capital Kabul on August 15.
Both the Government and local authorities have been pressured to formally address ways in which aid will be provided to those fleeing the fighting, with Hertsmere Council revealing they will be supporting 200 refugees in the borough.
In a statement, leader of the council, Morris Bright said: “It’s almost impossible to imagine what it must be like for the Afghan people at this time of great peril and uncertainty.
“Like other local authorities across the UK, we stand ready to support all those who have had to flee their homes because of the violence and fear proliferated there by the Taliban.
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“We are in close and regular contact with the Home Office and the East of England Strategic Migration Unit around the support that is currently being offered to approximately 200 Afghan individuals temporarily accommodated in two hotels in our borough, with further voluntary support being provided by the Red Cross.
“These are people, and their families, who supported the British Army during its presence in Afghanistan predominantly working as interpreters.
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“Through our experience of resettling Syrian families in the borough, we know that any support we provide must be co-ordinated and meaningful.
“While we’re reviewing the government’s latest resettlement scheme, we will continue to provide as much support as we can, in conjunction with other councils, public sector organisations and charities in Hertfordshire.”
In addition to the support being offered to refugees, Hertsmere MP and secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Oliver Dowden, is working with UNESCO to help preserve Afghanistan’s cultural heritage.
In a tweet, he said: “Spoke with @ErnestoOttoneR about how the UK can work with @UNESCO to lead international efforts on protecting cultural heritage in Afghanistan.
“We agreed any new regime must respect existing commitments to preserve heritage and safeguard the full diversity of Afghan culture.”