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Afghanistan: Refugees

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 51862, tabled on 20 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will review her Department’s policy of (a) not responding to and (b) refusing further cases from hon. Members who are requesting urgent assistance for people still in Afghanistan who (i) have helped the allied forces during the 20 year conflict there or (ii) are at risk.

Answered on

23 September 2021

The former Foreign Secretary undertook to reply to all MPs who wrote about Afghanistan cases before 31 August by Monday 6 September. This was done on 5 September with a letter from Lord Ahmad to all those Parliamentarians who had sent cases to the FCDO including an additional Dear Colleague letter on the 6 September. As Minister Cleverly said in the House on 9 September, we are determined to work with the Home Office and the MOD to ensure all cases are passed to the correct Department.

We stand by our commitment to help all Afghans who are eligible to come to the UK. This includes Afghans who helped our forces and our Embassy as well as civil society, or those who face a particular risk from the Taliban. The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) offers resettlement for Afghan staff who have assisted the UK government, and their families. We are also setting up the Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) which will welcome up to 5,000 vulnerable Afghans over the next year and up to a total of 20,000 over four years.

We have had a huge number of people contacting us since the beginning of the crisis, more in fact than during the entire Covid crisis – some 230,000 emails to date. In order to dedicate resources to those who need our support in Afghanistan, we will not able to respond individually to every email, but we are not refusing further cases.
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