Ukraine War: New Refugee Program Aims to Learn Lessons from Afghan Evacuation, Say Government Sources | Political news



The government-backed refugee assistance package unveiled today will build on lessons learned from the evacuation from Afghanistan last summer, government sources say.

15,000 Afghans were taken to the UK, but many are still stuck in hotels and unable to work or fit in.

The hope in Whitehall is that the approach for Ukrainian refugees will help prevent the recurrence of these problems.

A government source said: “We’ve taken more people from Afghanistan than any other European country and we’re proud of that, but we also have to learn from it – a lot of people are stuck in pretty miserable conditions in hotels because we don’t “I don’t have accommodation for them. The new Minister for Refugees will focus on both issues.”

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Upgrading Secretary Michael Gove said Ukrainian refugees could arrive in the UK under the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme by next week.

The humanitarian sponsorship visa regime will allow families in England to welcome a Ukrainian refugee or family in their home, with the aim of making the most of the generosity of the people who see the horrors unfold there and want to help.

A website will be launched today – shortly after Michael Gove announced the scheme in Parliament – allowing people to register their interest in having someone in their spare bedroom or empty property.

Applications can be made from Friday and a minimum time commitment of six months will be required and a “thank you” payment of £350 per month will be paid, once the security checks have been carried out and the host family – especially if they are hosting children – have received a visit.

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Something on this scale has never been done by the government before, and they are fumbling to some extent. A person applying to host a refugee will need to name and have the passport or identity card details of all persons.

The government is not acting, at this stage, as a matchmaker. Officials say that is best left to the experts and that UK organizations are already starting to work with charities in Poland and other neighboring countries to help connect UK families with those in the region.

The Refugee Council and others say the fact that it is only open to named individuals means that only those with a connection or a friend of a friend in Britain will be able to benefit from it.

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Ukraine is in the midst of the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. What happens to refugees after they leave?

Those working on the program say the aim is that it is much broader, but it makes sense, especially when it comes to living in someone’s home, for people to be put in relationship with charities based on their criteria – for example LGBT charities, charities working with children or orphans may try to match their loads with people who can offer the appropriate support.

Those who benefit from this housing program will not have refugee status, which can take a long time to apply and prevent them from working at least initially. They will have the right to work, and access to universal credit (without the housing element) and to all public services.

As a government-backed program, if a host cannot fulfill their obligation to a compatible family, they will be found elsewhere.

Downing Street is also in talks with major retailers to provide jobs for Ukrainian refugees; and a much larger part of the sponsorship program in which churches, synagogues or other organizations that have housing, such as nursing homes, can offer it to more people.


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