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Scottish councils draw up plans to welcome Afghan refugees

SCOTLAND’S councils have drawn up plans to welcome hundreds of Afghan refugees in the coming months.

Under current plans, at least 60 families and a further 73 individuals have either arrived or are expected in Scotland under the resettlement programme for Afghans who worked with British forces.

Announced in August, the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme commits Britain to taking about 5,000 Afghans in the first year as part of 20,000 over five years.

Glasgow and Inverclyde have drawn up plans in recent months to rehome the highest amount of refugees under the resettlement scheme.

Glasgow is understood to have taken in 73 people since June, while Inverclyde has welcomed six families since August 31 and plans to double this in the next month.

Aberdeenshire is taking eight families, Dumfries and Galloway between two and four, Fife 10, Falkirk two, North Ayrshire five and Perth and Kinross up to six.

North Ayrshire Council leader Joe Cullinane said: “The situation in Afghanistan is a deeply worrying one and the images we are seeing are awful and very troubling.

“We have a humanitarian duty to support people in crisis in any way we can and, in particular, those who have supported our own armed forces on the front line — that’s why we will be looking to increase our provision as much as possible.

“Our communities have welcomed families from Syria and Afghanistan over the years and we are sure that they will continue to offer friendship and support to any new arrivals in the weeks ahead.

“There will be the minority who are not happy with the decision but we would ask them to imagine themselves in the awful situation faced by those currently in Afghanistan.”

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