Afghan refugees: Fife ‘inundated’ with offers of help

Fife Council bosses say they have been "inundated" with offers of help and support as they prepare to welcome Afghan refugees to the Kingdom.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 9:39 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 9:40 am
A girl and boy wait to board a bus at a processing center for refugees evacuated from Afghanistan (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

Last week, administration co-leaders David Ross and David Alexander made a clear commitment to helping those fleeing the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Since then, they say enquiries from people who want to help have surged.

In a joint statement issued, the co-leaders said: "Our work continues with local and national partners to make sure Fife can help Afghan refugees as they arrive in the country.

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Councillor Judy Hamilton

"We want to thank everyone who’s expressed support and offered to help, or donate things, since we confirmed this work was underway.”

The council has committed to supporting the UK Government' s Afghan Citizen Relocation Scheme, which pledges to rehome up to 20,000 Afghan nationals in the UK starting with 5,000 within the next year.

Work to prepare Fife for the arrival of Afghan refugees is being co-ordinated by Fife Voluntary Action (FVA).

Cllr Judy Hamilton, community and housing convener said: “As ever, Fifers are showing their generosity and welcoming community spirit. Together we will be able to help families that have lost their own homes and communities, to restart their lives.

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“First, we need to gather the right things to meet these families’ initial needs, in a manageable way. FVA will co-ordinate donations and signpost people to other ways you can help.”

The group has set up a dedicated page on its website for the Afghanistan crisis at fva.org/crisis. The page will be updated with details of what can be donated to support incoming families and where it can be dropped off.

It urgently needs baby clothes and items such as nappies, children's clothes and toys, warm adult clothes and money to cover anything else that needs to be bought in to support refugees. Donations can be made using a credit or debit card by calling 0800 389 6046.

Employers are also being invited to set up collections in their workplaces to support the effort.

Kenny Murphy, FVA chief executive, said: “Desperate families fleeing Afghanistan without their personal possessions will need a lot of support and we’re working together in Fife to do what we can.

“We particularly need baby clothes, children’s clothes, warmer adult clothes and toiletries. And we can accept much-needed donations of goods, money and more across the Kingdom.

“Details of how to donate are on our website, or people can call us if they can’t get online.

"Listed items can be dropped off at FVA offices in Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes during normal business hours and a growing list of drop-off points will be kept up to date on the website.”

For those living in Fife who may be concerned about family or friends in Afghanistan, the UK Government has created a dedicated webpage https://www.gov.uk/guidance/support-for-british-and-non-british-nationals-in-afghanistan with details of the support arrangements in place.

Since the Taliban assumed control of Afghanistan on August 15, thousands of people have fled the country.

Approximately 58,700 people have left by air from Kabul Airport according to a Nato diplomat.

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