Afghan refugees being left without cash or essentials after arriving in UK
Refugees have been left without essentials such as toothpaste, nappies and sanitary products.
Afghan refugees in the UK are being left without cash and basic essentials after being evacuated from Afghanistan.
Over a two-week evacuation effort, the British government worked to bring 15,000 Britons and Afghans to the UK after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. But the Refugee Council has said that many are being left without support and basic products and supplies after arriving in the UK.
It said some families had been left without cash for up to two weeks, forcing them to try to take essential items from shops without paying for them.
The council said that it recognises that the government has had to work at speed after the evacuation effort but that it is "concerned" about the level of support many refugees are getting, with some being left without information about what is going to happen to them.
The council added that there has also been little support to help those evacuated keep in contact with family members still in Afghanistan, and little to no resources for children such as toys or access to outside playing areas.
We're calling on the Government to do more to make sure all Afghan refugees are given the best possible chance of building a positive future in the UK.
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— Refugee Council 🧡 (@refugeecouncil) September 8, 2021
"The Government has worked hard to respond to this unprecedented situation, but it's alarming traumatised families and children have been left without basics, such as sanitary products and medicine, and with little information about what is happening to them,” said Enver Solomon, the Refugee Council’s chief executive.
"It is vital that interim accommodation is safe and appropriate, to help them recover and rebuild their lives. The best place for these families is in family homes, embedded in communities, and this outcome must be achieved as soon as possible.
"Too many refugees and people seeking asylum are forced to live under conditions that damage their health and wellbeing, including being forced to live on less than £5 day, as part of the Government’s hostile environment."
More than 8,000 Afghans have arrived in the UK as part of the evacuation programme, with more than half of them children. The council says that 3,213 Afghans are in the UK still waiting for a decision on their claim for refugee status, and has urged the government to do everything they can to get families and refugees out of temporary accomodation and into their own accomodation in communities.
They are "calling for a comprehensive package of integration support for all families in hotels and temporary accommodation, including access to health and mental health services, education, information and advice, assistance with opening a bank account, accessing benefits and support in getting to know their local community."