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Refugees fleeing Afghanistan are not safe yet.

When Afghan refugees caught their first glimpse of Britain from an aeroplane window, it may have been only a matter of hours since a time when they did not know whether or not they would escape. Their thoughts were thousands of miles away, with the lives and loved ones they have been torn away from.

People escaping the crisis in Afghanistan arrived in the UK with little more than the clothes on their backs. Thanks to Refugee Action supporters, we were able to be there for them at the airport round the clock for a week. We offered a warm welcome and help with their immediate needs, but there’s still so much more we need to do.


Louise Calvey, who headed our team welcoming Afghan refugees during their first moments in the UK, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour outlining the support that we were offering. She said she has never seen anything like what she saw in that week.

We must be the support network for people so cruelly torn away from the one they knew. Can you help?

“I saw a young woman trying to sleep and realised she was cradling a newborn baby. I got the GP on site to come over and help her. The baby was only four days old. She’d given birth in Kabul airport.”

Louise Calvey – Head of Services and Safeguarding

The chaotic evacuation of Afghanistan after the incredibly swift Taliban takeover has led to thousands of Afghans fleeing to Britain in enormous uncertainty. Thousands of people have already arrived and need our help to find stability and start rebuilding their lives in the UK.

We are urgently trying to raise £215,000 to meet the needs of the coming weeks

Our Refugee Action team are experts in welcoming and supporting newly arrived refugees, but responding to the immediate needs of Afghan refugees throughout this emergency is an enormous challenge.

The crisis has unfolded so quickly that we cannot predict the level to which we need to scale up our services, but we know that demand is increasing quickly, and we can be sure that we must act fast to prepare the best possible support.

Refugee Action specialises in welcoming and supporting refugees in the UK. Since 1981 we’ve welcomed tens of thousands of people fleeing from crises in Vietnam, Bosnia, Syria and many other places. Our experienced team is desperate to get to work extending the same support to Afghans rebuilding their lives.

Your support has already meant we could welcome refugees at the airport 24/7. By donating today, you can help us ensure that:

  • Our expert staff will provide people with guidance and support, including assessing and identifying what is needed to keep people safe, and helping them to access interpreters.
  • We’re able to extend our service to more Afghan refugees that need it. Each pound means more resources to help them rebuild their lives.

Most importantly, your donation will mean that we can ensure people’s initial experiences of the UK are warm and welcoming ones.

To be certain that we can provide this support, we have calculated that we need to raise £215,000 over the next month.

Why we need to raise £215,000

What’s the emergency?

After a chaotic evacuation of Afghanistan, traumatised refugees with little but the clothes they’re wearing are arriving at British airports without the right support in place. We need to get that support to them right now.

What will my donation go towards?

After fleeing for their lives, Afghan refugees are in no position to face the question ‘what now?’ alone. From a warm welcome to advice and safeguarding, we need to fund the extra staff hours to provide the right support.

Why £215,000?

The arrival of thousands of Afghan refugees is outside of our existing planned work to support people seeking safety in the UK. £215,000 is the amount we need to extend our services so we can help these Afghan refugees as well.

Why Refugee Action?

Refugee Action has supported refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK since 1981. We are one of the largest providers of support for refugees, with an experienced team that specialises in helping people rebuild their lives.

Stop the anti-refugee bill

As this crisis unfolds, the Government is trying to pass an anti-refugee bill (also known as the Nationality and Borders Bill) that would take a wrecking ball to the right to claim asylum in the UK. It represents the biggest attack on the refugee protection system that we have ever seen and will close the door to desperate people who arrive in the UK to seek safety.

Under the bill, only refugees arriving through extraordinarily restricted “official” routes, such as refugee resettlement, will be allowed to claim protection. All others will be deemed “inadmissible” to claim asylum and the Government will seek to deport them. If they cannot be deported, they may be allowed to claim asylum in the UK but if they receive refugee status as a result they will not be given the right to settle. Instead, they will be regularly reassessed for removal, with limited rights to family reunion and benefits.

Help us stand up for asylum and stop the #AntiRefugeeBill.

Join our call for an asylum system that is kind, fair and effective.