Britain says it is ready to accept up to 20,000 Afghan refugees

Britain is ready to accept up to 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan and calls on the European Union to follow its example, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel wrote in an article for The Telegraph on Tuesday, August 17.

“Our new Afghan resettlement program will allow us to accept up to 20,000 people who are forced to flee Afghanistan. The first 5,000 will arrive next year,” she pointed out.

The priority will be to help women and girls, as well as religious and other minorities who face the “tyranny and oppression” of the radical Taliban regime, she said.

“I want us as a nation to do everything we can to support the most vulnerable refugee groups from Afghanistan so that they can start a new life in safety in Britain, away from the tyranny and oppression they face in their country,” the head of the department stressed.

Patel stressed that Britain cannot act alone. The United Kingdom is discussing with other Western nations the need to help the people of Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power.

Earlier, on August 17, U.S. President Joe Biden decided to allocate $500 million to help refugees from Afghanistan. The aid, depending on circumstances, will be provided on a bilateral or multilateral basis, including through contributions to international organizations and by funding other nongovernmental organizations and U.S. departments and agencies.

On August 16, French President Emmanuel Macron predicted uncontrolled migration from Afghanistan to Europe because of the destabilization of the country. France, together with Germany and other EU countries, will develop a program to help refugees from Afghanistan and regulate their flow.

At the same time, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on all countries to accept refugees from Afghanistan and refrain from deporting them. He stressed the fact that the situation in the country has already forced hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes.

In turn, the U.S. State Department said that those wishing to leave Afghanistan should be allowed to leave. The foreign ministry urged all sides to contribute to a safe departure from Afghanistan of foreign nationals and Afghans. More than 60 countries have signed the statement.

According to the latest figures, about 700-800 passengers have been evacuated so far. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby predicted that with maximum effort, the agency will be able to evacuate from Afghanistan from 5,000 to 9,000 people a day.