All councils in Wales pledge to take in refugees as FM says veterans will also be supported

  • First Minister Mark Drakeford speaking to ITV News on Tuesday

Every council in Wales has pledged to help with the resettlement of refugees from Afghanistan, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.

It means all 22 local authorities in the country will help with the accommodation and support of vulnerable people fleeing the Taliban.

Speaking to ITV News on Tuesday, Mr Drakeford said work was continuing to maximise the support available to people.

"I'm very pleased to say that every single local authority in Wales has now committed to taking a number of refugee families from Afghanistan."

"We will be working with them to maximise that number and then to mobilise all the other networks of support: the third sector, the voluntary groups, people from Afghanistan who have already settled in Wales and have come forward very anxious to play their part in welcoming those families and helping them to adjust to life here in Wales."

"That effort is going to have to continue over the weeks ahead."

Mr Drakeford also confirmed that the Welsh Government is due to meet with different organisations from across the country on Wednesday to discuss further practical steps on how to provide support.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to host a virtual meeting of G7 leaders on Tuesday to discuss events in Afghanistan Credit: PA Images

Mr Drakeford's comments come as the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to host a virtual meeting of G7 leaders to discuss the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.

There have been concerns that time is running out to evacuate British nationals, refugees and other eligible people with American forces due to leave Afghanistan on August 31.

Meanwhile, the Taliban warned Western nations that there would be "no extensions" to the August 31 deadline.

The first minister also said he wanted to ensure veterans affected by events in Afghanistan were supported.

Some Welsh veterans charities have told ITV News referrals have markedly risen in the past week, with some veterans needing mental health and other forms of support.

He said: "We will meet tomorrow with organisations across Wales so we mobilise all the efforts we are able to make together.

"Supporting veterans who have been in Afghanistan who are affected by what they now see and particularly those people from Afghanistan who are in Wales already and will help us to make sure that where we are able to provide for more refugees, fleeing those awful circumstances, that Wales plays our part in helping to make sure that out of that catastrophe, the lives that we are able to help and the lives that we are able to influence, that we do it as a nation of sanctuary."

"That's the ambition that we have here in Wales. To be that outward-looking, welcoming nation that plays our part in a difficult and threatening world."

The UK Government has said it will take in around 20,000 Afghan refugees as part of its plans to help people particularly at risk of persecution from the Taliban.

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