With over 10,000 Afghan refugees evacuated to the UK in the past two weeks, work is underway across the whole of Government to ensure the Afghans are supported as they now rebuild their lives in the UK.
The plans, dubbed ‘Operation Warm Welcome’, will be overseen by Victoria Atkins as the new Minister for Afghan Resettlement.
The support provided will be similar to the commitments in the Syrian Resettlement Programme and ensure that those who worked closely with the British military and UK Government in Afghanistan, and risked their lives in doing so, get the vital health, education, support into employment and accommodation they need to fully integrate into society.
Full details will be set out next week and build on the commitments already made. These include £5 million for local councils to provide housing support, an offer of a vaccine for everyone on arrival and access to rapid mental well-being and trauma support.
The plans will also harness the offers of support which have already flooded in from charities, businesses and the British public.
This includes the creation of a central portal where people, organisations and businesses can register their offer of support, be it volunteering, a job opportunity, professional skills to help with integration and deal with trauma or donations of items like clothes and toys. Free English language courses will also be provided in recognition that many of the dependents of former staff and Afghan translators may need this.
James is the Editor of Government Transformation magazine, and has been covering digital government and public sector reform for 20 years. He also oversees the development of the agenda for the UK's biggest public sector transformation conference.