My office is continuing to receive a high volume of correspondence from constituents regarding the Afghanistan evacuation and how you can help here in Cardiff North. Please see my statement below.
My condolences go out to all those impacted by yesterday’s horrific attack at Kabul airport, and I would like to thank the brave troops and staff who are keeping evacuation efforts going.
As conditions in Kabul and across Afghanistan deteriorate and with the imminent full withdrawal of troops of UK, US and NATO troops bringing an end to the airlift, my team and I continue to work tirelessly to provide help and assistance to Afghan and British nationals attempting to evacuate the country before the final deadline of 31st August.
This is a deeply distressing moment for those remaining in Afghanistan, but entirely avoidable had it not been for a catalogue of catastrophic miscalculations and blunders by the UK Government and the international community.
As part of the support my team and I are providing to those with links to Cardiff North, we are liaising with all relevant UK Government departments and agencies to make representations on their behalf and to assist those on the ground in Afghanistan evacuating the most at vulnerable.
Our efforts have been successful in helping some of those we are supporting to safety. Sadly, however, the UK Government’s shocking mishandling of evacuation efforts mean many people who risked their lives to help the UK and our allies, as well as those who will undoubtedly be targets of the Taliban because of their activism, press, or educational work, will not get the help they desperately need.
With the withdrawal deadline nearing I will continue to do all I can to raise cases with the UK Government. Whilst the 31st August 2021 may be the deadline on evacuations, it must not be a deadline on our attention. I will continue to aid those left behind in Afghanistan or making the perilous journey by land and sea to flee their homeland across borders. With the Parliament returning I will be able to hold the UK Government to account regarding both the failings of the past few weeks and months, as well as what the next phase of the UK’s assistance will entail, from humanitarian aid to asylum.
Locally my focus will also be on supporting those Afghans and their families who may arrive in Cardiff North, both now and over the course of the next 12 months when the Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme commences – I am pressing the Home Office for a timescale on this scheme and whether it will be possible for those who have fled to other nations to apply.
I am also in contact with Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, and local refugee charities. I urged the council to help provide accommodation and I am pleased this call has been met.
Afghans who failed to be evacuated and who are now making their way to Europe and our own shores via alternate routes must not be victim to the wrath and inhumanity of the Conservatives’ hostile environment asylum programme, but instead met with warmth and dignity. I am proud to live in a nation and city of sanctuary, I know Wales and Cardiff will greet our friends and allies with open arms.
Like many of you across Cardiff North, my thoughts remain with the people of Afghanistan, particularly those who assisted the UK humanitarian and military operations on the ground, women and girls, and the LGBT+ community all of whom are at heightened risk of attacks, threats, and violence.
I know so many of you are eager to provide a welcome hand to our Afghan friends.
My office is in conversation with the council and charities about how you may best support those families. I will share those updates with you as soon as I have clear details, however, for now if you wish to help you can do so by following the links posted in the comments below directing you to charities providing frontline help.