Launching today, the Afghan Evacuees Emergency Grants Programme will equip Christian organisations to support evacuees resettling in the UK from Afghanistan, giving them a better chance of a fresh start. Benefact’ funding will help to cover associated costs, as churches and charities 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 families have been flown safely to 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.
Benefact Trustees felt a sense of responsibility to offer additional support to Afghan evacuees, through the Christian organisations working hard to help them resettle. The Trust will provide funding to Christian organisations who can demonstrate they have the reach and capacity to support resettlement.
The UK government has responded to the plight of these Afghan allies by offering them refuge, but many evacuees have arrived without adequate clothing, bedding, food and more. Not only this, but a chronic shortage in appropriate social housing means many families will face months in temporary accommodation, without access to employment and education, leaving their extended families behind.
‘S’ is a recently resettled Afghan evacuee. He said: “We are grateful for the opportunity to be here in the UK but we are extremely worried about our families left behind. We are also concerned for many of our colleagues who have not made it out of Afghanistan yet." *
Jeremy Noles, Head of Grants and Relationships for Benefact Trust, said: “We have been keeping up to date with the Afghan evacuee programme and how it is impacting churches and charities, particularly given the continuing economic and resource strain of the pandemic. We feel a deep responsibility to support those working tirelessly to help resettle these vulnerable people.”
To find out more and to apply to the Afghan Evacuees Emergency Grants Programme, click here.
The deadline for applications is 15 December 2021.
Please note: Christian organisations are eligible to apply for an Afghan Evacuees Emergency Grant even if they have had another grant from Benefact Trust within the last two years (for a different project).
*Welcome Churches website