LONDON: The British Armed Forces have been called in to support efforts to collect data on thousands of Afghan refugees living in hotels, while the Home Office has been rumored to have lost control of the numbers.
Hundreds of soldiers are expected to arrive at more than 80 hotels used as “temporary homes” for about 7,000 Afghan evictees from Kabul in August.
Concerns have been raised about the lack of support, insufficient supply of basic necessities and insufficient information for many in Afghanistan while refugees are staying at home.
It is hoped that this will help soldiers collect data on the most efficient ways to move refugees to permanent residence.
Data collected by the Home Office include the quality of the English language and special requirements for their well-being and the identification of local contacts in the UK.
This information should be completed by the weekend so that the Home Office can begin the final process of relocating the refugees, but the ministry has refused to rule out the possibility of some Afghans staying at the hotel by Christmas.
More than 8,000 Afghans were deported to the UK in August under the Afghanistan Resettlement and Assistance Policy.
A source involved in the care of Afghanistan, which was taken to the UK, told the newspaper: The Home Office “lost control” due to the recovery chaos.
The Refugee Council released a report last month saying the number of Afghans did not have access to essential items such as sanitary ware, toothpaste, wipes and medicine in makeshift camps.
The report found that refugees had no information about their future and a limited understanding of the process they were undertaking.
A family stranded at a hotel in Lancashire in the north of England since August said they had not been given a reference number, so they contacted the Home Office and missed the opportunity to cause them any concern.
It also means not being able to get information about their status or prospects for a permanent home in the future.
Parents felt “abandoned” and “lost and anxious” while at the same time “doing nothing” to their children.
The government says a campaign is underway to collect military data on behalf of the Home Office to boost efforts to integrate Afghan refugees into communities across Britain. He said the data would be exchanged with “competent authorities”.
Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said: “The mental health and well-being of families is at stake, and access to support, advice and information for all is paramount, so the welcome promised by the government will become a reality.
“The best place for all families is an integrated part of homes and communities and more devotees should come forward to provide it.”
The Interior Ministry has denied allegations that it lost control of the number of Afghans in hotels and urged the military to gather more accurate information.
A spokesman said: “The largest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history has brought about 15,000 people to safety in the UK. Efforts continue.
“It is completely wrong to say that we do not know how many people are in the hotels.
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