Bishop of Durham asks about emergency resettlement scheme

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answer on 22nd February 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government what plans they have to trial an Emergency Resettlement Mechanism that is wider than existing schemes as originally proposed in the New Plan for Immigration, published on 24 March 2021.

Lord Murray of Blidworth: An Emergency Resettlement Mechanism would allow the government to provide urgent protection in exceptional circumstances to refugees referred by UNHCR as being in need of rapid emergency resettlement. The UK already works alongside the UNHCR to resettle refugees through its existing resettlement schemes; these include the UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS), Community Sponsorship, the Mandate Resettlement Scheme, and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS).

Responding to the situation in Afghanistan, the UK military undertook the largest military evacuation since the Second World War, during which we evacuated c.15,000 individuals to the UK. Over 20,000 Afghans have been brought over to the UK since the fall of Kabul. This, alongside the UK’s response to Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine, continues to impact on available local authority housing and support. As a result, the commencement of the pilot has been put on hold temporarily.

The UK has a strong record of helping those most in need and the UK continues to welcome refugees and people in need of protection through our resettlement and relocation schemes. Since 2015, the UK has resettled over 28,000 refugees directly from regions of conflict and instability.


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