Hundreds of Afghans in refugee camps have been waiting for over a year for the UK to live up to its resettlement promise

hundreds of Afghan Those who were promised resettlement in Britain more than a year and a half ago are still there refugee camps Waiting to be transferred to United kingdom.

The home office Under pressure to move about 200 Afghans refugees Before March 2020, their cases were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, oath It announced that it would present a new Afghan resettlement plan It would provide sanctuary for 5,000 people from the country in the first year, and 20,000 in the “long term.”

But the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which helps with global resettlement, said independent She was concerned that the plan would further delay hundreds of already displaced Afghans, and hundreds of other refugees from other parts of the world who had been told they were to be resettled in Britain but had been forgotten.

Laura Padoan, a spokeswoman for the organization, said there are about 200 Afghans living in refugee camps and informal settlements in countries such as Turkey, Iran and India who have been identified for resettlement in the UK, but have not yet been relocated. She said it was not clear if they would be included in the new resettlement scheme.

“A lot of Afghan refugees have been living in very protracted and difficult situations for a very long time, and that includes women at risk, children at risk, survivors of sexual violence, people with urgent medical needs. Some of these people have been told the UK has accepted them but we don’t know,” she said. When will they arrive?

“At the moment we don’t have any details on whether the Afghan resettlement plan will see UNHCR define refugees in a manner typical of traditional resettlement, or whether the government is proposing something different. We really hope to clarify that.

“But the thing that can be done now is resettle Afghans who have already been identified as needing resettlement and are due to come to the UK.”

“This is a desperate situation, and now more than ever we need certainty and clarity from the Home Office on the resettlement plan,” said Shadow Immigration Minister Bambos Charalambos.

Last August, UNHCR submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Interior to commit to resettle 5,000 vulnerable refugees who have fled conflict-affected countries such as AfghanistanSyria, Sudan and Eritrea.

But the Ministry of the Interior did not accept this proposal, which is It canceled the numerical target in its Global Refugee Resettlement Program, known as the United Kingdom Resettlement Scheme (UKRS), in March, saying the numbers would remain “under review” instead.

Ms Padoan added: “There are hundreds of thousands of refugees around the world who need resettlement. We have no commitment from the UK and we desperately need it to come forward and offer places to those in need.

“It makes responding to needs very challenging when there is no commitment, because local authorities in the UK need to plan in advance to be able to take in people, and ultimately we need the capacity to staff so we can identify the people who need most.

“It cannot all be done on an ad hoc basis. It is absolutely essential that the government works with UNHCR, which identifies refugees, as well as local authorities and charities providing support services in the UK.”

Louise Calvey, Head of Services and Protection at Refugee Action, said: “The announcement that 5,000 Afghan refugees were welcome last week is welcome but insufficient in terms of the number of people who need assistance. It completely fails to address the refugees who have been waiting in In limbo under the UKRS scheme, which the Home Office has been lagging behind for over a year now.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Our immediate priority is to evacuate those at risk in Afghanistan in order to save lives. While the pandemic has meant that resettlement activity has been disrupted over the past year, no one should have the slightest doubt about our commitment to building on our proud history of resettlement. Settlement of refugees in need of protection.

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