• Spencer Payne

Afghanistan Refugees Must Be Fairly Distributed, Political Leaders Urge

The distribution of refugees coming into the UK from Afghanistan as a result of the Taliban takeover must be fair, political leaders in the north have urged, with local mayors in the region saying that the whole country needs to show support for the 20,000 men, women and children who will be welcomed over the next five years.

Analysis by the Guardian shows that nearly one in four of the 44,825 asylum seekers receiving support from the Home Office are housed in ten local authorities, nine of which are some of the most deprived areas in the country.

These include Cardiff, Middlesbrough, Rochdale and Glasgow, with the latter having the UK’s highest number of refugees as a proportion of the population. There is just one local authority in the top ten - Barking and Dagenham in London - that is in the south of England.

Research shows that the north of England has taken in almost half of all 44,825 asylum seekers, while just 6.5 per cent have been found places in the south, excluding London.

Considerations for dispersing refugees include the availability of housing for rent in the private sector, local health services and school places - and some rural areas lack the resources to offer the support required.

The government scheme to offer sanctuary to 20,000 refugees over the next five years has drawn criticism from some quarters, with just 5,000 vulnerable people to be housed in the first year.

Home secretary Priti Patel has, according to the Independent, not yet revealed when the UK would receive its first refugees, saying that the immediate priority for the government was to evacuate British nationals and Afghans with visas from the country.

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