REFUGEES fleeing war-torn Afghanistan will be settled in all five areas of Gwent -Newport, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Monmouhshire, and Blaenau Gwent - the councils for each area have confirmed.

Although all five councils have said they will support the UK Government’s Afghan refugee resettlement scheme, none were  able to confirm how many refugees they will be able to support as they are waiting on the finer details of the scheme to be able to put their plans in place.

However, some are already welcoming refugee families.

A spokesman for Newport City Council said: “We are currently working to understand our capacity to assist so cannot confirm figures at this point.

“Newport has a long history of welcoming people seeking sanctuary and will continue to offer a place of safety for those fleeing conflict and persecution.”

The first refugee family will arrive in Newport at the end of the month as part of the council’s long-term commitment to supporting refugees arriving via Home Office resettlement schemes.

Caerphilly County Borough Council has echoed this and said they are working with the Welsh Government to support the refugees in the Afghanistan crisis.

The council’s deputy leader, Cllr Jamie Pritchard said: “The local authority is currently working with both the Welsh Government and the Home Office to offer appropriate support to those who need it.

“Caerphilly council is already participating in the Asylum Dispersal Scheme, and we have provided a safe haven for refugees over recent years. We will continue to play an active part in this key humanitarian role going forward.”

As part of the Asylum Dispersal Scheme – a pilot run and funded by the Home Office – Caerphilly council will be providing accommodation and support to five asylum-seeking families. However, this has been put in place since July and is separate to the new plans.

Monmouthshire County Council will be continuing to provide support and a place of sanctuary for those fleeing persecution. They have previously provided accommodation and support to Afghan nationals who worked for the British Army and will continue to assist.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “Monmouthshire County Council is committed to playing its part in national resettlement schemes, acting as a county of sanctuary for those fleeing persecution. We have previously provided accommodation and support to Afghan nationals who worked as translators for the British Army and will be looking to identify suitable accommodation for families affected by this current situation.”

Torfaen Council leader Cllr Anthony Hunt said: “We are all aware of the dire situation happening in Afghanistan and the impact this is having on its people.

“As a council we have consistently supported the Government’s resettlement initiatives, and we currently support families who have moved to the UK under the Afghanistan Relocation and Assistance Policy for nationals employed to help British forces in the region. 

“We are expecting the UK Government to make a detailed announcement about an extension to this scheme in response to the current situation within the next few days. As a council we will respond positively to the requests for support.”


A Blaenau Gwent Council spokesman said: “The council is supportive of Global Resettlement and has been working to help families from conflict areas resettle in Blaenau Gwent for over five years. The council has agreed to support the Afghan Resettlement and Assistance Scheme as part of our wider commitment to Global Resettlement earlier this year.”

The Welsh Government’s minister for social justice, Jane Hutt, said: “The Welsh Government is working very hard with our local authorities, and indeed with the UK Government, to ensure that we can do what we can to provide support in the right places to find homes for people fleeing the situation in Afghanistan.”

Those eligible to resettle in the UK include Afghans who worked for the UK Government, those deemed to be at high or imminent risk, interpreters, cultural advisers, and embassy staff.

First minister Mark Drakeford said on Twitter: “We want Wales to be a Nation of Sanctuary and we’ll do everything we can to support evacuations from Afghanistan. We’re working with the Home Office and councils on preparations to support those who need it.”

The support from the councils comes after the Taliban gained control of most of Afghanistan over the past two weeks, including the capital Kabul.

The UK Government have announced that around 20,000 Afghan refugees will be brought to the UK.

Additional reporting by Rhiannon James