Britain has evacuated over 300 British citizens and 2,000 Afghans.
In the long term, some 20,000 Afghans are to be welcomed into the UK over the coming years as part of a scheme to provide sanctuary for those most at risk of persecution by the Taliban and for those that helped British troops.
The government has promised that up to 5,000 Afghans can find refuge in the UK this year, with up to 20,000 in the longer term.
Yesterday we reported that a further 200 British troops will be sent to Afghanistan bringing the total to 900. 600 were initially deployed and 100 were already in the country.
The United Kingdom has so far evacuated more than 300 British nationals and over 2,000 Afghan citizens, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the Parliament on Wednesday. Johnson made the remarks during his address to the Parliament which has been recalled to discuss the crisis situation in Afghanistan.
“We have so far secured the safe return of 306 UK nationals and 2,052 Afghan nationals as part of our resettlement programme,” news agency AFP quoted the British PM as saying on Wednesday. He also said that the applications of 2,000 more Afghan nationals have been completed and “many more” were being processed.
Afghan civilians and entitled Afghan personnel have arrived in the UK from Afghanistan onboard a Voyager transport aircraft. The UK evacuation effort is now focussed on former British staff eligible for relocation under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy. pic.twitter.com/VatLYb9FYn
— George Allison (@geoallison) August 18, 2021
“I can announce today that we are committing to relocating another 5,000 Afghans this year, with a new and bespoke resettlement scheme focusing on the most vulnerable, particularly women and children, and we will keep this under review for future years, with the potential of accommodating up to 20,000 over the long-term”, Johnson added.
The night before last, the first flight of evacuated personnel landed at RAF Brize Norton in the UK from Kabul. The flight consisted of British Embassy staff and British citizens, say the Ministry of Defence.
As part of Operation PITTING, the UK Armed Forces are enabling the evacuation of British personnel from Afghanistan.
“On Sunday 16th August the first flight of evacuated personnel arrived at RAF Brize Norton in the UK. The flight constituted of British Embassy staff and British Nationals.
British forces from 16 Air Assault Brigade arrived in the Afghan capital over the weekend on Op PITTING to support the evacuation of British Nationals and former British staff eligible for relocation under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP).”