The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed on measures to allow vulnerable people fleeing Afghanistan to resettle in Northern Ireland.
Following the collapse of Afghanistan after the re-emergence of the Taliban, 15,000 individuals have been evacuated to the United Kingdom. Although there has yet to be an agreement on the number of Afghan citizens to be resettled in Northern Ireland, the Executive has stated that they plan to support arrivals as soon as possible.
Both the First and Deputy First Ministers are set to contact Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to outline their commitment to helping those who have fell victim to this crisis. As First Minister Paul Givan stated that;
“This is an effort that goes beyond the Executive, and involves the UK Government as well as a range of statutory and voluntary organisations in Northern Ireland… We will continue to engage the Home Office on the wider asylum support to ensure we are best placed to offer support to all fleeing persecution.”
The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed that they will accept refugees under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme.
“We have asked our officials to work urgently with all relevant agencies to expedite resettlement here by putting in place the necessary measures to ensure any Afghan refugees have appropriate access to vital services such as housing, healthcare, benefits, education and employment opportunities.’’
Work is continuing to determine the final number of citizens who will be resettled in Northern Ireland.