Afghanistan: fears refugees will end up in hotels indefinitely unless more councils welcome them

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Afghanistan: fears refugees will end up in hotels indefinitely unless more councils welcome them


There are fears that thousands of refugees who have recently arrived from Afghanistan may be forced to stay in hotels indefinitely.

The head of a local authority who is welcome refugees in their region said he believed all councils should be forced to house people, rather than being allowed to refuse.

The Home Office says so far that more than 100 councils have agreed to host Afghans. However, the rest of the 343 local authorities in England have yet to commit.

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How to help Afghan refugees arriving in the UK

Charities say they are being contacted by people who have completed their quarantine period but have had no further information on their next destination.

Fahim Zazai has received hundreds of donations to the Afghan community and the wellness center he runs in Walsall. They have had essential items delivered to a hotel in Birmingham and are trying to gain access to the refugees at a hotel in Wolverhampton.

“We receive phone calls and contacts from these people, they want to know when they will be accommodated,” he said.

“Some of them are still at the hotel after spending their 11 days in quarantine. They don’t know when and where they’re going to be housed, so they just don’t know what will happen to them next. There is a lot of uncertainty with housing issues.

“They obviously have kids who need to start school and the rest of the support they need. “

In Coventry, the council has pledged to house 150 refugees arriving from Afghanistan.

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Items donated to the center in the West Midlands

Council chief George Duggins said he and other West Midlands leaders are ready to try to force other local authorities to take in refugees.

“We will seek judicial review from the government to ensure that the dispersal program and the dispersal process are fairer than they actually are,” he said.

“We don’t believe and I don’t believe for a minute that people should be allowed to opt out as they have been able to.

“We talked about mandate, now the government doesn’t want to follow that particular line, but I think they have to.

“And I say to my colleagues across the country, please stand up. It is a national problem, it is a national crisis. We should all be in the same boat and we just aren’t. “

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Cllr George Duggins says he is ready to try to force other local authorities to take in refugees

He criticizes a lack of communication between the government and the councils, citing an example of the lack of information the councils are given.

“66 people from Afghanistan came to Coventry and it’s an Home Office program – the Home Office hosted them – and we didn’t know it,” he says.

A spokesperson for the Home Office told Sky News: “So far more than 100 councils have agreed to house Afghans and we have earned £ 5million to cover the cost of housing.

“We are grateful to all local authorities who are currently supporting and encouraging all local authorities to come forward and offer additional assistance to these vulnerable people.

“Dedicated officials continue to work around the clock with local authorities to ensure those arriving in the UK have the accommodation and assistance they deserve. “

Ali – his real name – is a father of three who worked as an academic for the British Council in Afghanistan.

He counts his family among the lucky ones. After 20 days in the hotel, they have now been moved to temporary accommodation in the West Midlands.

Ali's four-month-old daughter in the hotel room where they spent their 40s
Image:
Ali’s four-month-old daughter in the hotel room where they spent their 40s

He has a photo on his phone of himself and his sons, aged 10 and 4, on the tarmac at Kabul airport, preparing to leave – he is waiting to find out where they can go to school in the Kingdom -United.

“Suddenly you are leaving them all: your homeland, your family, your friends, your loved ones, I couldn’t believe we had to leave but we had to do it to save our lives, in order to do something not only for me, for my children, ”he said.

“Certainly if we were there we would be murdered because we were accused and blamed as British spies since we were working for British projects. That’s why we had to leave there as soon as possible. “

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In another photo, her four-month-old daughter smiles in the hotel room where they spent their 40s upon arrival.

“I am optimistic about their future,” he says of his children.

“They will have, I am sure, a bright future. And I want to thank the UK government and hope we can one day be the best citizens of the UK. ”

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