We need your support to continue! Become a member
The Bristol Cable

More than 60 Afghan refugees offered temporary sanctuary in Bristol

Local health bosses say almost 200 people fleeing the Taliban may arrive in the city, with mayor Marvin Rees telling councillors local landlords have committed to housing 16 families so far.

Reports

A total of 61 Afghan citizens fleeing the takeover by the Taliban have arrived in Bristol so far, local health chiefs confirmed this week.

More than 100 more are expected to arrive in the city in the coming days and weeks, taking the total to around 168.

Emergency hotel accommodation paid for by the Home Office has been found for the new arrivals from Afghanistan.

Earlier this week Bristol’s mayor, Marvin Rees, told a council meeting that no resources being used to help Afghan refugees were being diverted from local people, with private-sector housing being used to meet extra need.

He said that to date, longer-term homes had been found for six families with a commitment from private landlords to house a further 10. In August, the city initially said it could offer 10 families sanctuary, with South Gloucestershire saying it could take on three households.

Rees warned against “opportunistic politicians who are ready to stitch together fears, concerns and people’s feelings of hopelessness and turn it into language and imagery that would create hostility”.

But he said more central government help would be needed, explaining that more unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) were expected in Bristol imminently.

The figures for the total numbers of people arriving were confirmed by health chiefs at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire clinical commissioning group (CCG).

The CCG’s medical director Peter Brindle told a governing body meeting on Tuesday that the right systems, processes and people were in place to keep up with the “relatively unexpected, quite significant collection of refugees” coming through the city.

Get our latest stories & essential Bristol news
sent to your inbox every Saturday morning

He said the newcomers would be put up in temporary accommodation before being resettled permanently either in or outside the region.

Brindle told the remote meeting that refugees arriving so far had been in a managed quarantine centre up “where they have received very little if any healthcare intervention and no healthcare screening”.

Echoing remarks made by Rees to councillors this week, he said the CCG would be ensuring people were being screened by the Haven, the primary care service for refugees and asylum seekers in Bristol, and registered with GPs.

He said three community pharmacists were ensuring refugees who had run out of any medication were prescribed it without delay, and that mental health and trauma support was also in place.

Bristol City Council director of public health Christina Gray, who is leading a multi-agency team managing the people fleeing Afghanistan, told the CCG meeting: “What we are dealing with in Bristol is the arrival of a large number of people in transit.

“Every local authority has been asked to do permanent settlements, so alongside the management and welcome and holding of people in transit we have the work to do to make sure people are permanently settled,” Gray added.

She said the response from members of the public had been “absolutely phenomenal”.

“People have already been coming forward to respond to our request to provide accommodation, people have made financial donations, clothes, volunteering,” Gray said.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related content

‘Their lives and safety are in great danger’: Students urge Bristol Uni to protect Afghan alumni

A campaign is urging Bristol University to protect fellow alumni - one a women’s rights activist - stranded in Kabul, who fear for their lives as the Taliban retake the capital.

Bristol pledges to welcome 10 Afghani families fleeing from Taliban rule

The government has set out a plan for the UK to take up to 20,000 refugees but campaigners are calling for more support.

The personal trainer working out for Bristol’s asylum seekers and refugees

Tim and his family fled from religious persecution in Nigeria. Here he tells how he is taking back control “within a system where you don’t often win”.

Bristol activist could face life in prison for stopping deportation flight

Today is the first day of trial for 15 activists, including Bristol woman, who grounded deportation flight last year.

From politics to potatoes: real views and stories from Bristol refugees and asylum seekers

From politics to potatoes: real views and stories from Bristol refugees and asylum seekers. People listened to the recordings while looking at the objects the...

Bijan Ebrahimi's nephew: "We all let my uncle down, we must all fight a racist system"

Davood Khayatain talks about institutional racism, media prejudice, and how Bijan's death has influenced his activism.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday