Leader of the Council Phélim Mac Cafferty has declared his support for the newly announced Afghanistan Refugee Resettlement Scheme and ongoing commitment to being a City of Sanctuary.
“Brighton & Hove has a proud history of solidarity and welcome for refugees and the city council stands ready to help Afghan refugees and support the desperately needed Afghanistan Refugee resettlement scheme announced by the government.
“The tragic scenes from Afghanistan as thousands of people flee in fear for their lives and those of their friends and family are truly horrendous.
"Worse still, it’s clear the takeover of the country by the Taliban will only place the rights and lives of millions of people at serious risk in the weeks and months to come. We know that over three million people have already been displaced.
“We send our solidarity and support to all those affected, including Afghan and refugee communities already here in the city.
"The council is already working hard to support refugees including through the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Scheme, and the government must swiftly establish safe passage for some of the most vulnerable.
“However, as we await details of the new resettlement programme, we join others in asking for the government to deliver a truly supportive scheme for refugees.
“We support calls made by the City of Sanctuary network and others, urging the government to adequately resource the new settlement scheme and financially support councils who want to do everything possible to welcome refugees fleeing horrific circumstances.
“We’ve already challenged the Home Office on their lack of funding and support for local councils seeking to support asylum seeking children and it’s vital proper resources are put in place. We also continue our calls for a mandatory rota for supporting asylum seekers, so that all councils play their part.
“I know that the horrifying scenes over the past days have caused shock and outrage for many different reasons.
"I personally want to reassure the Brighton & Hove Afghan community that you are welcome in our city and I ask the city’s residents to show compassion and kindness to those fleeing in tragic circumstances.”
Brighton & Hove City Council is a signatory to the City of Sanctuary Local Authority Network statement of solidarity for the People of Afghanistan.