Operation Warm Welcome: progress update

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Image shows RAF Brize Norton personnel handing out food, drink, toys, and blankets during Op PITTING. Photographer: Cpl Will Drummee RAF - UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021

Ensuring Afghans who stood side-by-side with us in conflict, their families, and those at highest risk who were evacuated, are supported upon arrival in the UK.

Operation Warm Welcome is a significant cross-government effort, working with local authorities, NGOs and the commercial sector, and will continue over the coming months to ensure those evacuated from Afghanistan can settle permanently, contribute to their communities and rebuild their lives here in the UK.

Over 15,000 people were evacuated from Afghanistan during Operation Pitting, and around 1,500 people have been helped to enter the UK since the evacuation.

This is in addition to around 2,000 people who arrived under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy between the end of June 2021 and when Operation Pitting began on 14 August.

Homes have already been provided for more than 4,000 Afghans who arrived in the UK before, during, and after Operation Pitting. Over 300 local authorities have pledged to resettle families so far, and the government continues to work at pace alongside local authorities and the private rented sector to secure more permanent homes.

As of today (6 January 2022), the latest available data shows there are over 12,000 people in around 80 bridging hotels. While work is ongoing to resettle families permanently as quickly as possible, they are receiving wraparound support. For example:

  • all Afghan arrivals are being supported to register with a GP
  • COVID-19 vaccines are being offered
  • all children of school age who arrived during Operation Pitting have been enrolled in schools
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has helped those in bridging accommodation who are eligible to claim relevant benefits including Universal Credit and State Pension Credit.

The Government say the situation on the ground is complex and fast-moving, with people continuing to be resettled in the UK from Afghanistan via third countries.

The Home Office says it is planning to publish regular updates of the numbers being offered protection under UK Resettlement programmes in its quarterly Immigration Statistics. The next publication will be on 24 February 2022.

Source: Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Home Office

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