Refugees who fled the Taliban are 'settling in well' in Edinburgh
Edinburgh’s Afghan refugees are currently ‘settling in well’ and living in hotel accommodation, according to the council leader.
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Last month, the UK Government confirmed to Edinburgh City Council leaders that up to 250 Afghan refugees are set to be temporarily sheltered in the city centre, with around 50 ‘new citizens of Edinburgh’ preparing to be permanently settled throughout the capital.
The UK Government has so far indicated it will resettle 5,000 Afghans in the UK during the first year of the Afghan Resettlement Scheme, with up to a total of 20,000 in the long-term.
Now, council leader Adam McVey has written to local authority members expressing his ‘delight’ that the new Edinburgh citizens are now safe and have been warmly welcomed by their adoptive city.
In a report, sent out ahead of Thursday’s full council meeting, councillor McVey writes: “Edinburgh has a long and proud history of offering a safe refuge and positive new start for those fleeing war and turmoil in their home countries.
“In the past few weeks, our experienced council team has worked hand in hand with partner agencies across the city to welcome a group of Afghan people escaping the increasingly desperate situation in their homeland.
“I’m delighted to say the group, who are currently in hotel accommodation, have been settling in well and are receiving a full range of practical and pastoral support to help them adjust to their new circumstances.
“Huge thanks to everyone involved in this process, from across the council, Police Scotland, NHS Lothian, the DWP, Lothian Buses, COSLA and, of course, third sector organisations including Edinburgh Clothing Store, Re-Act, Edinburgh City Mission and Scottish Faith Action for Refugees.
“And thanks to people across the city who have got in touch to offer help.
“This has been a genuine Team Edinburgh effort and one which will continue in the weeks and months ahead.”
The council has previously called on the UK Government to increase the number of Afghan refugees it plans to settle in the UK – saying that ‘as a wealthy city Edinburgh must embrace its responsibility to welcome those fleeing persecution’.