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UK to take in 20,000 Afghan refugees: What you need to know

Picture Courtesy: Human Rights Watch

After the Taliban seized control of Kabul, many Afghans are trying to leave the country. The UK government promised today that they will offer 20,000 Afghans a route to set up home in the UK in the coming years. In the first year of the program, around 5000 people - mostly women, girls, and people in need of priority will receive refuge.

This new plan by the UK government is on top of the existing plan for interpreters and other staff who worked for the UK, ‘the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP)’. The Home Secretary Priti Patela also urged other countries to open their borders to help Afghan people in this Tim elf need, she wrote, "The UK is also doing all it can to encourage other countries to help. Not only do we want to lead by example, we cannot do this alone" in the Daily Telegraph.

The opposition party has however criticized the settlement scheme. They say that this is not enough and the Boris government should do more. The Prime Minister is scheduled to open a debate on Wednesday in the house of commons to address the situation in Afghanistan.

Boris Johnson also had a conversation with President Joe Biden today to discuss the evacuation of Kabul. A spokesperson said, "The prime minister stressed the importance of not losing the gains made in Afghanistan over the last 20 years, of protecting ourselves against any emerging threat from terrorism, and of continuing to support the people of Afghanistan.”

The new plan to address the situation in Afghanistan is loosely based on the one introduced during the Syrian war. In that plan also, 20,000 Syrian refugees moved to the UK. On this new ‘Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme’ Prime Minister said, "Many of them, particularly women, are now in urgent need of our help. I am proud that the UK has been able to put in place this route to help them and their families live safely in the UK."

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