This afternoon, I had the opportunity to ask a question to the Minister of State for Defence about the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP).
Since our withdrawal from Kabul, 12,200 people have been resettled through the ARAP scheme and 9,100 have been resettled through the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS). Prior to summer recess, the Government set out its objective to process all outstanding ARAP applications by the end of August. It is for this reason that I chose to ask the Minister for the Armed Forces how effective he considers this scheme to have been.
93,000 applications were made to the Government under the ARAP scheme, and I am glad that the Government has been able to issue over 58,000 decisions to applicants in the past three months. Ministers informed me that there are just 2,000 of the most complex cases left to receive a response.
This is welcome news, and I am proud of the work done over this summer in tandem with local authorities to rehouse those in bridging accommodation. I know that Hillingdon and Harrow – along with others – have been working tirelessly to move people away from such accommodation. We owe a great debt to those Afghans who risked their safety to support our armed forces, and I implored the Minister to continue their work with local authorities to provide future support.