Supporting churches and Christian charities helping Afghan evacuees to resettle in the UK.
Allchurches Trust has launched an emergency grant programme to support churches and Christian charities helping to tackle the Afghanistan evacuee crisis. The Afghan Evacuees Emergency Grants Programme will help churches and Christian charities to support evacuees resettling in the UK from Afghanistan, giving them a better chance of a fresh start. Allchurches’ funding will help churches and charities to cover associated costs, as they continue to feel the financial strain of the pandemic.
As the disaster in Afghanistan unfolds, as many as 20,000 Afghan evacuees and their families are arriving in the UK and in need of assistance. Those being evacuated include Afghan interpreters and support staff who have risked their lives in support of British troops; they and their immediate family members have been flown to safety in the UK just as the Taliban entered Kabul. Alongside government support and resettlement schemes, some churches and Christian charities, and other faith communities, have been supporting evacuees as they seek to settle in the UK.
These activities have and continue to incur resources and direct costs for churches and Christian charities at a time when they are still managing both the economic and resource effects of the pandemic, as well as the increased demand for community support post-pandemic. The Trustees of Allchurches Trust felt a sense of responsibility to offer additional support to Afghan evacuees, via Christian organisations working tirelessly to help them settle in the UK.
The UK government has responded to the plight of these Afghan allies by offering them refuge. Many evacuees have arrived without adequate clothing or basic possessions such as bedding, food, clothing, baby bottles and more. They have been separated from their extended family, many of whom are still in Afghanistan. Of those who have been relocated to the UK, many are large families (often with up to six children) and are being housed in temporary accommodation with families split into different rooms and no place to cook or prepare food. Due to a chronic shortage of appropriate social housing, families are expected to face many months in temporary accommodation and challenges with accessing employment and education.
Allchurches Trust wants to help local churches and Christian charities who have the reach and capacity to support the resettlement of Afghan evacuees who have been granted, or who are eligible to apply for, indefinite leave to remain by the UK Government, and therefore grants are available to help with the costs incurred by those who are helping those most in need in this way.
This programme has now closed, and we will be publicising some of the grants awarded in due course. We will also be reflecting on the impact of grants awarded, and considering our potential further response to the Afghan evacuee crisis. Any further opportunity to apply for grants will be publicised on our website, through our social media channels and through our newsletter which you can sign up to receive below.