Up to 40 Ipswich families hoping relatives can flee Afghanistan

British troops evacuating citizens from Kabul airport, Afghanistan 

British troops evacuating citizens from Kabul airport, Afghanistan - Credit: PA

As many as 40 Ipswich families have had relatives try to flee Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control of the country, it has emerged.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt's office said it had been working "around the clock" to evacuate people with Suffolk connections from Afghanistan.

A statement from Mr Hunt's office revealed between 35 and 40 families had been in contact as they aimed to flee the Taliban.

The statement said: "This office is working around the clock the support the families from Ipswich that are at risk of persecution from the Taliban.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt. Picture: PARLIAMENT LIVE TV

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt's office has been working to evacuate people from Afghanistan - Credit: Archant

"We have been in contact with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Home Office and the British Consulate. 

"However, time is running short as the situation continues to deteriorate."

Afghan refugees have started to arrive in the UK in recent weeks after the government announced plans to rehome as many as 20,000 people fleeing the Taliban over the next five years.

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Suffolk Refugee Support said over the weekend that four Afghan interpreters and their families have already been welcomed to Ipswich under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme, while a further three individuals have arrived in Lowestoft.

The charity said in a statement posted online: "We are providing additional support to our existing Afghan clients, including families we have worked with for some time and more recently-arrived unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

"We are providing up-to-date information and guidance, as well as a sympathetic ear, listening to people’s fears, worries and even feelings of guilt for loved ones in danger back home."

All district and borough councils in Suffolk have already outlined their commitment to taking in refugees from Afghanistan, but the number of people who will arrive in the county has not yet been revealed.

The last remaining British troops left Afghanistan over the weekend, bringing an end to the UK's 20-year campaign in the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "The nature of our engagement in Afghanistan may have changed, but our goals for the country have not.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavi

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (Covid-19). Picture date: Monday July 5, 2021. - Credit: PA

"We will now use all the diplomatic and humanitarian tools at our disposal to preserve the gains of the last 20 years and give the Afghan people the future they deserve."

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