AQW 27150/17-22

Mr Peter Weir
Democratic Unionist Party

Tabled Date: 09/12/2021
Answered On Date: 04/01/2022
Priority Written: No

To ask the First Minister and deputy First Minister for an update on the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme and progress on Northern Ireland’s role within it.

Just as for the Syrian Refugees, we wanted to play our part in responding to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and The Executive united in a commitment to do so at its meeting on 6 September.
We have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson formally committing to resettle citizens under both the ‘Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy’ (ARAP) and the ‘Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme’ (ACRS).
We have agreed that, in line with our population proportion, we are willing to receive 3% of those Afghan citizens being relocated and resettled in the UK. This means the Executive has pledged to welcome 840 vulnerable citizens to make their home here, with some 360 being resettled in the course of the next year.
Plans to welcome Afghan citizens arriving under the ARAP Scheme are at an advanced stage and we hope to be able to welcome a first cohort early in 2022, subject to matching families to the available accommodation. The ACRS is still under development and we await further advice from the Home Office to progress.