UK to launch resettlement scheme for vulnerable Afghans

The scheme is likely to be similar to one that took Syrians from refugee camps to Britain

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Britain is to launch a resettlement scheme for Afghans who are most in need of help, especially women and girls, after the Taliban seized control of the country.

British soldiers are working amid chaotic scenes in Kabul to help fly out UK citizens and Afghans who worked for the UK government, after thousands descended on the airport to try to flee the country.

In a statement on Afghanistan when parliament is recalled on Wednesday Prime Minister Boris Johnson will say that international partners must come together to help prevent a humanitarian crisis, after he pulled Britain's remaining troops out of Afghanistan following the US withdrawal by President Joe Biden.

"The UK team in Afghanistan is working around the clock in incredibly difficult circumstances to help British nationals and as many others as we can get to safety as soon as possible," Mr Johnson's office said on Monday.

Britain's government has been criticised by opposition politicians, aid agencies and some members of the judiciary for failing to take in enough refugees in earlier migrant crises in Europe.

The government is now expected to set out plans for a resettlement scheme for Afghanistan that will be separate from the UK's asylum system, his office said.

It is likely to be similar to a programme that took Syrians from refugee camps to Britain.

A government spokesman said Mr Johnson was also working to rally the international community to prevent a humanitarian crisis engulfing Afghanistan.

"That means providing whatever support we can to the Afghan people who have worked so hard to make the country a better place over the last 20 years and who are now in need of our help," he said.

Mr Johnson plans to host an online meeting of leaders from the Group of Seven nations in the coming days to discuss how to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a source of international terrorist threats, and how to support its people.

He spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday and planned to speak to other world leaders in the coming days.

Updated: August 17th 2021, 2:50 PM
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