Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice
Wales is a Nation of Sanctuary and I am pleased to inform Members that Wales is now accommodating a significant number of Afghan citizens having today passed the 50 families supported milestone. Approximately 230 individuals will have arrived in Wales by the end of this week.
Those who have arrived in Wales are part of the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) and have therefore bravely served our Armed Forces over 20 years in Afghanistan – the majority of those who have now arrived have directly supported Wales-based and Wales-facing Armed Forces units in Afghanistan.
All local authorities in Wales will be participating in the ARAP scheme and the newly-announced Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme. They have offered their support and assistance to the Afghan citizens who are being resettled in the UK following the evacuation from Kabul. I want to thank local government and our Armed Forces for their work with us to coordinate this significant undertaking. Our approach has involved key stakeholders in public authorities, third sector refugee support groups, Welsh Afghan community members, and Urdd Gobaith Cymru to ensure new arrivals receive a distinctly Welsh welcome.
I will make a more detailed statement to the Senedd about the resettlement scheme next week.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.