Edinburgh Council calls for increase in number of Afghan refugees to be welcomed to UK

Edinburgh's council leader is to write to the UK Government calling for more refugees to be welcomed to the UK than the planned 20,000 over five years.

Monday, 30th August 2021, 6:00 am
Thousands of Afghans have fled their country in recent weeks. Photo: Getty Images.

Councillor Adam McVey will take this action after a Coalition motion was unanimously approved at full council last week. He said: “The deteriorating situation in Afghanistan is heartbreaking, we want to do everything we can to help people fleeing for their lives. That’s why I’ll be writing to the UK Government calling on them to increase the number of Afghans who will be welcomed to the country.

“We’re working very closely with partner agencies and will soon give shelter to around 250 Afghan refugees in the Capital, as well as around 50 people to settle as permanent citizens.”

He added: "We’re proud to have them join us and will welcome them with open arms, as we will when more of their countrymen and women arrive in the Capital in the months to come.”

Depute Council Leader Cammy Day said: “It’s humbling to see the outpouring of compassion and generosity shown by so many residents in the city who are coming forward with offers of accommodation and direct support for Afghan refugees.

"We are an outward-facing, globally responsible Capital and will play our full part in helping people in such desperate need.

“We now call on the UK Government to increase the total number of Afghan refugees that can be welcomed to Britain over the coming years and for local authorities to be provided with appropriate funding to support their needs.”