Bishop of Durham asks about humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

The Bishop of Durham asked a question on refugees fleeing the country during a debate on the ongoing humanitarian situation in Afghanistan on 9th February 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, it is very good how much is being given. Operation Herrick cost us at least £22 billion and we managed to find that, so I hope we can release more generous aid rapidly. There is also a humanitarian issue for Afghans who have been freed and are now here but whose families are still in hiding for fear in Afghanistan. Can the Minister update us on how those people are going to be got out of Afghanistan?

Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con): I can certainly try, and I am sure many noble Lords, like me, received a rather harrowing email on the subject of a particular individual who is currently stuck in Pakistan. In case anybody is interested, that email has gone into the Foreign Office and the case is being looked at now by the task force.

We have engaged with Governments in the region, notably Pakistan and central Asia, to allow Afghan nationals to cross their borders from Afghanistan on humanitarian grounds. More than 3,400 people have left in order to move to third countries and then to the UK since the end of Operation Pitting. To date, the UK Government have been allocating money to those regions, so £17 million has gone to support countries and £10 million has gone to support preparedness in the region and to help mitigate widespread humanitarian disaster. That includes £3 million to Iran, £4 million to Pakistan and £2 to Tajikistan.


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