Barnet Council says it is considering what more it can do to help refugees as thousands flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

The council pledged to continue working with local organisations to help refugees under resettlement schemes set up by the UK government, but has not specified how many Afghan households it might accept as part of it.

Thousands of Afghans are scrambling to flee the Taliban as US troops and their allies pull out of the country following a 20-year occupation. The deadline set for the withdrawal of troops is August 31.

Two schemes have been set up by the Government to help refugees from the country. The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) was launched last year to resettle interpreters and other people who had worked for the UK in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), announced on August 18, aims to welcome up to 5,000 vulnerable Afghans during the first year and up to 20,000 in the long term.

A Barnet Council spokesperson said the authority had already supported the resettlement of two Afghan families under ARAP, as well as resettling 50 Syrian refugees over the past five years through a separate scheme. 

The spokesperson added: “In light of the very recently announced expansion of the ARAP and the new Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme, we are considering what more we could do.

“Barnet is fortunate to have a strong voluntary community and faith sector that has consistently rallied around to support displaced people who arrive in our borough. We continue to work with local organisations to ensure this vulnerable group receive the help they need.”