The Bishop of Derby asked a question on targeted funding to aid support and integration for Afghan women being resettled in the UK, following a government statement on the Afghan resettlement scheme on 30th March 2023:
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I share many of the concerns that have been expressed about the routes into this country and the nature, safety and appropriateness of the accommodation for those who make it here—those to whom, as we have already noted, we have a moral obligation to extend sanctuary and welcome in this very particular circumstance.
My question relates to those who do manage to get here and who are settled. Regarding the provision of care offered to those households, I am sure the Minister will agree that the integration into local communities of Afghans who make it here is key to their flourishing and to our benefiting from the extraordinary richness they can offer us. We particularly need to ensure that the women of those households can be locally integrated. Will the Minister therefore assure the House that specific and targeted funding is being made available to Afghan women in their households in order to ensure that they are able safely and appropriately to access the support and resources being made available, such as support for English as a second language, access to education and training and access to health and mental health care for them and their children?
Baroness Neville-Rolfe (Con): I thank the right reverend Prelate for her comments, which I very much agree with on the whole. The work we are doing with the Afghans, and will be doing through these case workers, does indeed focus on exactly the sorts of things she was highlighting: on training, healthcare and helping them learn English, which is incredibly important for successful long-term settlement in this country, both for the individuals and their children as they grow up in English schools. She makes a good point about women, and I am sure they will be treated very much better here than, sadly, the women left in Afghanistan are being treated.
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