Boris Johnson to Announce Resettlement Program for ‘Most Needy’ Afghans After Taliban Takeover

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Boris Johnson to Announce Resettlement Program for ‘Most Needy’ Afghans After Taliban Takeover


Boris Johnson is set to announce a tailor-made resettlement program for those “most in need” in Afghanistan following the dramatic takeover of the country by the Taliban, Downing Street said.

Number 10 said the Prime Minister and his government were finalizing details of a specific program for Afghans to seek asylum in the UK.

The program will focus on helping the most vulnerable and women and girls in particular.

Mr Johnson has come under pressure, including from his own Tory MPs, to urgently put in place a resettlement program for Afghan refugees amid the unfolding crisis in the country.

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Chaos at Kabul airport as people cling to the plane

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 after becoming a target for her campaign for girls’ education, called on countries around the world to “open their borders To Afghan refugees.

Canada was among the first countries to pledge aid, unveiling plans to resettle more than 20,000 vulnerable Afghans, including women leaders, human rights workers and journalists.

Downing Street did not provide any details on how many Afghans would be allowed to seek asylum in the UK under the new scheme.

On Monday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK was “obviously a nation with a big heart”, adding: “We have the asylum criteria, which are defined by law, we are working with l ‘UN on this.

“We are working very carefully on what kind of additional commitment we could make. “

As part of the Syrian Refugee Program which ended at the beginning of the year, on which the Afghanistan would be based, around 20,000 Syrians have been resettled in the UK.

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The Taliban quickly took control of Afghanistan

An existing program to provide relocation to current or former UK government employees in Afghanistan who are deemed to be at risk, launched in April this year, has so far seen nearly 2,000 eligible people leave the country on commercial flights chartered by the army.

In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Labor Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy said there were “hours, not days” to establish “safe and legal routes” for vulnerable Afghans to flee the country.

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Civilians evacuated by plane from Kabul

The PM is also trying this week to use Britain’s G7 presidency to push for a coordinated international response to the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan, following the rapid collapse of the country’s government backed by the ‘West.

Mr Johnson intends to host a virtual meeting of G7 leaders in the “days to come”.

This will attempt to focus efforts on ensuring that Afghanistan does not again become a base for terrorism, coordinate humanitarian efforts and discuss expectations for the government that may emerge in Afghanistan, Downing Street said.

The Prime Minister’s appeal with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday saw the two men agree to work together on a joint resolution at the UN Security Council.

Mr Johnson will also be speaking to other world leaders soon, Number 10 said.

The Prime Minister chaired a third emergency COBRA meeting in four days on Monday afternoon, after which it was announced 200 more British troops will be sent to the Afghan capital Kabul to bring the number of members of the British armed forces in the city to around 900.

Their main focus will be the evacuation effort from the city’s airport, Mr Raab said on Monday – following talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken – that the “immediate priority of the two countries is to ensure the safety of our nationals and those who have supported our work over the past 20 years ”.

But Mr Raab and Mr Johnson are both criticized for their response to the crisis in Afghanistan.

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Ensuring that ‘the gains are not lost’ is the top priority

Former military leaders have questioned why the foreign minister and the prime minister took their summer vacation at the same time, before being forced to return to London after Kabul was captured by the Taliban.

Major General Charlie Herbert, who completed three tours of duty in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2018, told the Guardian: “It is almost impossible to believe that the Prime Minister went on vacation on Saturday; he should bow his head in shame. It is negligence. of duty on an extraordinary scale.

“He is overseeing one of the greatest military humiliations in recent history in this country. “

A Downing Street spokesperson said: ‘The British team in Afghanistan are working around the clock under incredibly difficult circumstances to help British nationals and as many others as we can to safety as soon as possible.

“At the same time, we are bringing the international community together to prevent a humanitarian crisis from erupting in Afghanistan – it is in everyone’s interest not to let Afghanistan fail.

“It means providing all possible support to the Afghan people who have worked so hard to make the country a better place for the past twenty years and who now need our help. ”

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