Local MP Huw Merriman praised Wealden and Rother District Councils work in “welcoming our Afghan friends” in the House of Commons this week.
In a Statement, the Minister for Afghan Resettlement, Victoria Atkins MP, laid out the three-year funding package for Local Authorities who support the resettlement of families who have come to the UK having been at risk in Afghanistan.
In response, Mr Merriman asked for clarity on whether that funding package would fully cost the resettlement and urged Local Authorities across the country to “think of the contribution that those individuals, brave individuals, will make, not just to their local communities, but the economy”.
Ms Atkins thanked Wealden and Rother District councils, saying they have “worked very closely with my Department in recent weeks and I'm very grateful for that”. She went on to highlight the huge impact that the “very skilled, highly qualified” resettled Afghans will make to our society.
The Afghan Resettlement Minister then confirmed an additional £20 million of flexible funding to support Local Authorities with higher cost bases with any additional costs in the provision of services.
In the wake of the Afghan crisis, both Rother and Wealden District Councils pledged to play a full role in supporting the national effort to support and welcome resettled Afghans.
Councils who support people through the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) or Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme will receive £20,520 per person, over 3 years, for resettlement and integration costs. Local councils and health partners who resettle families will also receive up to £4,500 per child for education, £850 to cover English language provision for adults requiring this support and £2,600 to cover healthcare.
In addition, the previously announced Afghan Housing Costs Fund will increase from £5 million to £17 million and run for 2 extra years to help local authorities provide housing and give certainty that funding will be available in the future.