Refugees fleeing Afghanistan will be given a place to live in Hampshire, a council has vowed.
With the Taliban retaking control of Afghanistan as the UK and US armed forces pull out of the country, refugees have been leaving the country in their thousands, packed onto aeroplanes leaving Kabul.
Prime minister Boris Johnson has pledged to resettle 20,000 Afghan refugees in the UK over the next five years, and Portsmouth City Council has already welcomed two families into the city.
Now, Hampshire County Council has promised that it will help out wherever possible, having already signed up to the government’s Afghan resettlement scheme.
A spokeswoman for the council said: ‘The county council is pleased to be working closely with the Home Office and a range of key local partners including district and borough councils, support providers and local charities to assist a number of Afghan families moving to the UK to re-settle across the county as part of the government’s Afghan relocation and assistance policy programme.
‘While the focus is to help re-settle families into longer-term accommodation, with associated service support, the rapid escalation of events in Afghanistan has meant that interim, short term placements may also be needed.
‘The county council and partners have assured government of our support with this when required.’
Initially, the county council had pledged to resettle up to 22 Afghan families in Hampshire.
These families – including translators and guides who supported UK troops over the past 20 years – will still be rehomed, but the mass exodus of Afghans from their homeland could lead to many more being rehoused in Hampshire.