London [UK], August 18 (ANI): UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said the United Kingdom would accept 20,000 Afghan refugees fleeing from the country, priority will be given to women and girls.
"Our new Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme will welcome up to 20,000 people who have been forced to flee Afghanistan, with the first 5,000 arriving in the next year," Patel said in a statement issued by British High Commission on Wednesday.
The United Kingdom will offer shelter primarily to women and girls, who are "facing a chilling future" under the Taliban's rule as well as Afghan interpreters, teachers and community workers, who worked alongside the UK mission. Some 2,000 Afghan nationals, who assisted the UK Armed Forces in Afghanistan, have been settled in the UK since late June, the secretary added.
She also called on other European countries to engage in Afghan refugee resettlement programmes.
"The UK is also doing all it can to encourage other countries to help. Not only do we want to lead by example, we cannot do this alone," the official stated.
On Tuesday night, Priti Patel chaired an emergency meeting with her Five Eyes counterparts to discuss the developing situation in Afghanistan and what steps each country is taking to provide safe and legal routes for refugees.
Attendees include Karen Andrews, Australia Minister for Home Affairs, Alex Hawke, Australia Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Marco Mendicino, Canada Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Kris Faafoi, New Zealand Minister of Justice, Immigration, and Broadcasting & Media, Alejandro Mayorkas, US Secretary of Homeland Security. (ANI)