The United Kingdom announced on Tuesday that it plans to take in 20,000 Afghans over a five-year period who have fled after the Taliban has seized power in their country. In the first year, this concerns 5,000 refugees. Women, girls, religious and other minorities will be given priority.
“I want to make sure that we as a nation do everything we can to support the most vulnerable people fleeing Afghanistan,” British Home Secretary Priti Patel said in an article in the British newspaper The Telegraph . In the article, Patel also calls on other countries to take in more Afghan refugees.
The British government recognizes that Afghans who have helped the UK and other Western countries in Afghanistan over the past twenty years are now in extra danger from the takeover by the Taliban.
The newspaper The Guardian writes that most of these 20,000 Afghans will, however, first have to flee independently to neighboring countries such as Pakistan, before they can find shelter in the UK. Unless, in the future, an agreement can be made with the Taliban to allow people who want to leave Afghanistan.
According to the paper, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously stressed that the UK is “indebted to all those who have worked with us over the past 20 years to make Afghanistan a better place” and that “many of them, especially women, now urgently need our help.”