Councils in England, Scotland and Wales will have access to a share of £5m to help them provide the housing and support to Afghans who have worked for this country in Afghanistan.
The Afghan LES (Locally Employed Staff) Housing Costs Fund will provide a top up to help councils meet the costs of renting properties for those that need it, including larger homes for families. This will help give councils the security to make a firm offer of support to take people into their communities and help them build a new life.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Our immediate focus is to evacuate the Afghans who risked their lives supporting us over the past twenty years and to whom we owe so much.
“We are proud to bring them to the UK, and this additional support will help make sure that those arriving from Afghanistan receive the housing and healthcare that they need as they start to build a new life here.”
Additional healthcare provision has also been put in place. All those who have fled Afghanistan are also being offered the COVID-19 vaccine on arrival, if they haven’t received one already, and will be issued with a vaccine card.
New vaccination points will also be set up at each managed quarantine hotel and those arriving will be invited to get their jab after they have received a negative Day 2 PCR test. Enhanced healthcare support to Afghan refugees will also include:
Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “There is already an enormous effort underway to support those arriving from Afghanistan with close to a third of councils already stepping up to support new arrivals.
“However, we urgently need more offers of support to welcome Afghan families who have stood shoulder to shoulder with the UK, serving our troops and our country so bravely in recent years.
“With this extra support in place, I’m calling on all councils who have not yet come forward, to contact us with a firm offer of support to help our Afghan friends and their families as they build a new life in safety here.”