The british government announced on Tuesday that it is ready to host 20,000 Afghan refugees “in the long term”, a few hours before a special emergency debate on the crisis caused by the return of the Taliban to power.
“We owe a debt to everyone who has worked for us to make Afghanistan a better place in the last twenty years. Many of them, particularly women, urgently need our help,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson was quoted as saying in a statement from the Interior Ministry.
Johnson declared himself “proud that the UK has been able to create this pathway to help them and their families live in complete safety in the UK.”
The head of government will present the new reception device on Wednesday before the House of Commons.
The initiative foresees the arrival of 5,000 Afghans “threatened by the current crisis” in the first year, in particular women, girls and religious minorities, the ministry said.
Although the statement does not give a precise timetable, it is inspired by a program for Syrian refugees that allowed the installation of 20,000 people in seven years, from 2014 to 2021.
The new device for Afghanistan is added to a program known as ARAP for Afghan personnel employed by the United Kingdom, such as interpreters.
The UK has deployed some 900 military personnel to Kabul to ensure the evacuation of its citizens and local personnel.
Some 520 British citizens, former Afghan employees and diplomats have left Afghanistan since last Saturday, aboard military flights.
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