- Afghan refugees are calling out the poor conditions associated with the UK resettlement scheme.
- Many refugees are temporarily housed in hotels, with the UK Home Office unable to say when that will end.
- One GP told The Guardian had to medicate a refugee staying in a hotel for stress due to their living situation.
Afghan refugees who sought sanctuary in the UK are raising awareness of the poor conditions of the resettlement scheme, Operation Warm Welcome.
Due to a lack of housing, 7000 refugees live in hotels, with the Home Office unable to give a time frame for when they will get permanent accommodation. They could be there for months, the head civil servant in the Home Office told MPs, last month, reported The Guardian.
One doctor supporting the refugees told The Guardian that some were suffering from stress at the inadequate conditions needed to be medicated.
“I’ve had a few patients telling me they want to go home. One guy, who was 67, kept saying: ‘I can’t take this anymore. I have to get out of this [hotel] room.’ ”
The GP, who fled Afghanistan when the Taliban last took power in 2000, added that one of their patients said: “‘I just want my freedom from the hotel,” saying they had to put him on medication and his wife because they were so upset.”
In August, a 5-year-old boy, who had fled Afghanistan with his family, fell from a ninth-floor hotel room where he was housed as part of the resettlement scheme.
A general view of the OYO Metropolitan Hotel in Blonk Street, Sheffield, where a five year old Afghan refugee boy fell to his death from a window on August 19, 2021 in Sheffield, England. An Afghan boy, 5, has died after falling from a hotel window in Sheffield just five days after fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan as a refugee.
(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson launched the resettlement program on August 29 to help those fleeing the new Taliban regime “rebuild their lives, find work, pursue education and integrate into their local communities.”
Speaking to The Guardian, a spokesperson for Medact, a human rights and healthcare charity, described the housing conditions of Afghan refugees as “medically dangerous.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The UK’s biggest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history helped over 15,000 people to safety, and hotels remain a temporary measure to help accommodate those we brought here. It is going to take time to find permanent homes for everyone but we are working urgently with our partners to do so.”
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