Afghan refugees will be arriving in London - here’s how you can help

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The best ways to support refugees from Afghanistan arriving in London after fleeing the Taliban.

The first wave of Afghan refugees, fleeing the conflict and regime change in Afghanistan, have begun to arrive in the UK.

More than 3,100 Afghans have already been evacuated from Kabul to Britain since August 13, according to the Ministry of Defence, with plans for further evacuations in the coming months.

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The Government has announced plans to rehome 20,000 refugees over the next five years, with the first arriving into Manchester last week.

London is home to the largest Afghan community in the UK and Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has released a statement saying that London stands ready to help.

“Our city has a proud history of providing refuge to those seeking sanctuary and we again stand ready to help,” said Mr Khan.

A number of charities and other organisations in London and across the UK are stepping up to help refugees now arriving.

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If you wish to help those fleeing as the Taliban take power in Afghanistan, here are some things you can do.

Donate to London’s Afghan community groups

There are a number of charities in London, which have been set up by the city’s Afghan community.

They are all offering assistance to Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban.

Paiwand, based in Edgware, Barnet, helps refugees and asylum seekers access services related to housing, employment, and mental health.

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The charity is currently running an urgent appeal asking for essentials packed into shoeboxes to help those resettling, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, facemasks, and deodorant.

It is also trying to find warehouse space in London to store the donations, and clean clothing.

It hopes to raise £20,000, and has put a call out for essentials including women’s Muslim clothing, shoes for children and also dolls and children’s toys.

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The Afghan Association in London, in Harrow, said it is open to “help and support providers to settle incoming refugees and ask that anyone needing help contact us”.

The group is also looking for volunteers to help with fundraising.

(Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)(Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Donate to UK-wide organisations supporting refugees

With the first arrivals of Afghans reportedly arriving in Manchester, Care4Calais is running a crowdfunding campaign to help put together Afghan Welcome Packs including clean clothes, shoes, and basic toiletries.

The charity, which is volunteer-run, works with refugees in the UK, France and Belgium and is attempting to raise £100,000 to help deal with the current crisis.

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Choose Love, formerly known as Help Refugees, is also running an emergency fundraiser with the aim of raising £300,000 to provide essentials to fleeing Afghans.

Offer a room to stay

Networks such as Room For Refugees and Refugees At Home both look to connect refugees with hosts who can support them.

If you have the space, or a spare room to offer - you can register your interest in becoming a host via their websites.

Write to your MP

London’s Afghan-supporting organisations are also looking for people to help lobby the UK Government on various issues around refugees.

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Fahima Zaheen, CEO of Paiwand, said she was asking the public to “join our plea to change foreign policies concerning Afghanistan, demand amnesty for asylum seekers, and support for mental health services”.

The Afghan Association of London’s statements argued: “The Government immediately abandon its inadmissibility rules and its decision to delegitimise and criminalise refugee journeys that are not undertaken through regulated resettlement routes.

“Refugees reaching our shores must have claims assessed based solely on need and never on method of flight.”

Websites such as WriteToThem help you to identify your local MP and send a message easily.

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