Council stops taking donations for Afghan refugees after being ‘overwhelmed’

·2-min read
TOPSHOT - Passengers evacuated from Afghanistan disembark from a British Royal Air Force (RAF) Airbus KC2 Voyager aircraft, after landing at RAF Brize Norton station in southern England on August 24, 2021. - Britain said on August 23 it would urge the United States to extend an end-of-the-month deadline for evacuations from Afghanistan, while the Taliban warned any delay would lead to
Afghan refugees after landing at RAF Brize Norton station in Oxfordshire. (Getty)

A council has stopped accepting donations for Afghan refugees after being "overwhelmed" with contributions.

Oxfordshire council has been besieged with offers of toiletries, blankets and other essentials from "warm-hearted" locals.

They have donated via churches and charities to help the migrants who arrived at RAF Brize Norton this week.

The council thanked people for the products, which were included in care packs for refugees.

Watch: Boris Johnson says Afghan evacuations will continue 'up until the last moment'

Liz Leffman, leader of the council, said: "We have already been overwhelmed with donations and we are sorting through these to allocate them according to family needs."

The council added in a statement: "The generosity of Oxfordshire people to date means that no further donations are needed just now.

"Some of the items donated have already been distributed and gratefully received by arrivals at RAF Brize Norton from Afghanistan over recent days."

Councillor Sally Povolotsky, who started Oxfordshire Afghan Aid, said it was working with the RAF and Red Cross to fulfil further requirements for refugees, including pushchairs and cases for hand luggage.

Oxfordshire Afghan Aid said arriving migrants were "very grateful for the generosity and love shown" by the people of Oxfordshire.

Passengers evacuated from Afghanistan are greeted by health personel upon disembarking from a British Royal Air Force (RAF) Airbus KC2 Voyager aircraft, after landing at RAF Brize Norton station in southern England on August 24, 2021. - Britain said on August 23 it would urge the United States to extend an end-of-the-month deadline for evacuations from Afghanistan, while the Taliban warned any delay would lead to
Passengers evacuated from Afghanistan are greeted by health workers at RAF Brize Norton. (Getty)

Meanwhile, foreign secretary Dominic Raab has admitted the UK doesn’t know the exact deadline for its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

An evacuation deadline of 31 August was confirmed on Tuesday after Boris Johnson failed to convince US president Joe Biden to keep American troops in the country after this date.

But there was confusion on Wednesday when Raab was asked on BBC Breakfast whether the UK withdrawal would happen by midnight on 30 August or midnight on 31 August.

Read more:

Ben Wallace clears charity worker Pen Farthing, staff and animals for Kabul evacuation

Why is there a 31 August deadline to evacuate everyone from Afghanistan?

Raab said: “Because of working out precisely how much time we might need and how much that can be reduced by, I can’t give you a firm timeframe on that now because we’re focused on the throughput in and out of the airport.”

The Taliban has warned evacuations “will not be allowed” after 31 August.

Government figures put the number of people evacuated by the UK since 13 August at 9,226, but thousands more are thought to still be in the country. 

Watch: Joe Biden defies calls to extend Afghanistan evacuation deadline

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