Afghanistan: Taliban

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 7th September 2021.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he plans to take (a) in response to the recent letter sent to him by the CEO of Adam Smith International on the risk to Afghan civilians, employed to administer UK-funded programmes between 2002 and 2018, who were (i) staff members of contractors and (ii) not directly employed by the UK Government and (b) to honour all offers previously made to Afghan students of Chevening Scholarships for the academic year 2021-22.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

In addition to schemes offering resettlement for Afghan staff who have assisted the UK government, and their families, we are also setting up the Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme (ACRS). This scheme will provide protection for Afghan citizens identified as most at risk. The Government has committed to take around 5,000 refugees in the first year and 20,000 over the coming years.

All offers made to Afghan Chevening scholars for 2021-22 are valid. We successfully evacuated the majority of Afghan Chevening scholars in this year's cohort and will continue to do all we can to support the small number who remain in Afghanistan. We are clear that the Taliban must ensure safe passage for these people out of Afghanistan and any engagement with them will emphasise this first and foremost.

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