What happened to the Warm Welcome? is a new report from the Refugee Council that assesses the UK Government’s support for Afghan refugees since the fall of Kabul in August 2021. It finds that the Government has failed to fulfill its promises under ‘Operation Warm Welcome’ to provide housing and integration support to Afghans evacuated to the UK.
Thousands still live in temporary hotel accommodation and now face eviction and potential homelessness. Moreover, resettlement of Afghan refugees is happening at a tiny fraction of the numbers promised. Only 54 have been resettled through the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, leading thousands to attempt dangerous Channel crossings.
The report calls for urgent action to provide permanent housing for all evacuated Afghans before hotels close, to fulfill resettlement commitments, and establish family reunion mechanisms so Afghans can safely reunite with loved ones.
It makes recommendations including not evicting any Afghan from a hotel before they have permanent housing, creating a national housing strategy for Afghans, and designing a functional system for family reunion.