Fifty Afghan families relocated in Hampshire, with more to come
AROUND 50 Afghan families fleeing the Taliban have been relocated to Hampshire – and more are on the way.
The county council has come to the aid of the refugees as part of the government’s Afghan resettlement scheme, writes David George of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
The council had initially agreed to take up to 22 families – consisting of guides and translators who had supported UK troops for the past two decades. But it reviewed its position when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.
An HCC spokesperson said: "The county council and local partners, including district and borough councils, NHS, support providers and local charities, are committed to continuing support for Afghan families arriving in Hampshire as part of the government’s resettlement scheme.
"At present some 50 families are being collectively supported in temporary accommodation pending national decisions being taken on their long term future and relocation.
"We would anticipate that some may remain in Hampshire, while others will move to locations beyond our county – and in half a dozen cases, the latter has already occurred.
"Over the next few days, we are preparing to welcome more evacuees but the numbers are unknown at present."
Across Hampshire, people have been donating clothes, toiletries and even old mobile phones to give the Afghan families a fresh start in the UK.
The HCC spokesperson added: "The public response from the people of Hampshire to the plight of the evacuees has been extraordinary.
"Registered Hampshire charity Community First, which is coordinating donations across the county, working alongside more than 30 local community organisations, has welcomed a huge number of donations and offers of support.
"Work is now ongoing to collect and distribute much-needed items to Afghan families who have expressed their gratitude for the public’s support."
Anyone who wants to donate items to Afghan families can go to the Community First website, where there is a list of urgently-needed items.