Statement regarding Birmingham welcoming Afghan refugees

Published: Wednesday, 18th August 2021

Below is a statement from Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, on the city's welcome to refugees from Afghanistan.

“As a City of Sanctuary and a Mi-Friendly City, Birmingham will of course welcome refugees fleeing Afghanistan and we've already agreed to accommodate 80 Afghan interpreters and their families, the first of which are now starting to arrive. This is a compassionate city and we will work with partners to ensure that the new arrivals are made to feel welcome as they start to build new lives here.

"But we need action not words from the Government on this and, in addition to greater support for the towns and cities that have opened their arms to refugees, more should be done to ensure that other local authorities play their part in this humanitarian effort.

"Even before the Afghanistan crisis, we made it clear to the Government that more needed to be done to support councils. Refugees are vulnerable people in need of support and the Government must help the communities, towns and cities that welcome those fleeing war and persecution across the world.”

Background note: As part of its commitment as a City of Sanctuary, Birmingham previously pledged to welcome 550 refugees under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Refugee Resettlement Scheme, and 110 under the UK Resettlement Scheme.

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