Rochdale and Salford only GM boroughs to not receive Afghan … – Rochdale Online

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Date published: 07 September 2023
Rochdale is one of two boroughs in Greater Manchester to not have any Afghan refugees placed by the government
Rochdale and Salford are the only boroughs in Greater Manchester to not have had any Afghan refugees settled in the region by the government as of 30 June 2023.
New figures from the Home Office show just four local authorities in the north west – Rochdale, Salford, Chorley and Halton – have not received any Afghan refugees from either of the government’s resettlement programmes: the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) and the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP).
The schemes were launched in 2021 and 2022 by UK government in response to the Taliban retaking control of Afghanistan, with a particular focus on helping those who worked with the UK during the war and vulnerable groups, including women and girls at risk, and members of minority groups at risk (including ethnic and religious minorities and LGBT+).
The Home Office figures show more than 20,000 Afghans fleeing the conflict have settled in the UK, but none were living in Rochdale.
Most Afghanistan refugees in the north west have been settled in Manchester (756) and Liverpool (332), the figures show.
Conversely, just 112 refugees from Ukraine have been settled with hosts in Rochdale, the 12th smallest figure in the North West and the lowest in Greater Manchester.
Most refugees under the government’s Homes for Ukraine programme – offering temporary accommodation to Ukrainians fleeing as a result of the Russian invasion – have been settled in Cheshire East (725), Cheshire West and Chester (665), and Manchester (511).
However, Rochdale does have one of the highest totals of supported asylum seekers (884) behind Liverpool (2,584), Manchester (2,068), Wigan (1,331), Bolton (962) and Halton (952).
Figures do not include unaccompanied asylum-seeking children or those leaving care, or where people are seeking asylum from.
Asylum seekers have left their country and are seeking protection elsewhere, but have not been yet recognised as a refugee. Asylum seekers do not have the same rights as a refugee or British citizen and are not allowed to work or claim most benefits.
Of the supported asylum seekers in the Rochdale borough, 748 have received dispersed accommodation. Dispersed accommodation is provided to asylum seekers whose claim for asylum has been agreed.
A further 126 have been temporarily housed, used when there is insufficient initial or dispersed accommodation available. The government says people housed in contingency accommodation, including in hotels, generally move to dispersed accommodation when suitable property becomes available.
The remaining 10 individuals receive cash support but no accommodation support.
Responding, a government spokesperson said: “We made one of the largest commitments of any country to support Afghanistan, and so far, we have brought around 24,600 individuals to safety to the UK, including thousands under our Afghan resettlement schemes.
“Afghans who have come to the UK legally and safely deserve every opportunity to rebuild their lives here, which is why we have worked tirelessly across government and with local authorities across the UK to help families find permanent homes.”
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