'We will play our part' in helping Afghan refugees, says Wakefield Council leader

The leader of Wakefield Council has said the district will "play our part" in helping Afghan refugees.

By Leanne Clarke
Friday, 27th August 2021, 2:54 pm

The leader of Wakefield Council has said the district will "play our part" in helping Afghan refugees.

At least 20,000 men, women and children will be given sanctuary in the UK over the next five years, following The Taliban's power grab in Afghanistan.

It is not yet known how many of those refugees will be resettled in Wakefield, but council leader Denise Jeffery said support would be given to those who come here.

At least 20,000 men, women and children will be given sanctuary in the UK over the next five years, following The Taliban's power grab in Afghanistan.

But she called on the government to offer financial help to communities involved in that process.

She said: "My thoughts are with the Afghan people as they face great uncertainty, fear and upheaval in their lives at this time.

"In our district we have a tradition of welcoming vulnerable and persecuted refugees – and are willing to play our part in supporting those in need by working with Migration Yorkshire.

"The Government must help ensure that adequate longer term funding is available to support all communities that are willing to provide asylum so that the necessary services can be provided to those who will settle in our region."

Migration Yorkshire, which is a partnership agency working on behalf of councils in the region on the issue, said it couldn't say how exactly how many refugees will be resettled in each area.

But the organisation's head Dave Brown said: "Wakefield like all other areas in our region agreed to take their ‘fair share’ of Afghans under the existing programme for those who worked with the British forces.

"There has not yet been a specific ask for councils from government for the additional Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme but we expect that to come soon."