WALES is now accomodating 50 families from Afghanistan who had to flee the Taliban.
Approximately 230 refugees have been relocated in Wales.
The majority of those relocated directly supported Wales-based and Wales-facing armed forces units in Afghanistan during the conflict of the past 20 years.
Minister for social justice, Jane Hutt, said:“Today, we welcome the families and individuals that have served our country in Afghanistan.
“We have made clear our pledge of Wales being a Nation of Sanctuary and we’re committed to do all that is possible to ensure Afghan interpreters, refugees and their families are welcomed.
“Wales is a Nation of Sanctuary – we will do all we can to provide a warm welcome in the short-term and our communities will, no doubt, be enriched by their skills and experiences in the very near future.
“All local authorities in Wales are participating in these schemes and have offered their support and assistance to the Afghan citizens who are being resettled in the UK.
“I want to thank all of our partners in this collaborative Nation of Sanctuary approach to coordinate this significant undertaking.
“I also want to place on record my particular thanks to Urdd Gobaith Cymru for having the humanitarian vision to ensure we can provide a distinctly Welsh welcome for our new Afghan friends.”
The Welsh Government, Welsh Local Authorities, Urdd Gobaith Cymru, the Ministry of Defence, refugee support organisations and local Welsh Afghans are collaborating to ensure Wales is seen as a ‘nation of sanctuary’.
It is hoped that this approach will ensure that more families are able to be relocated in Wales soon and helped to integrate into the community.
The Welsh Government also pointed out that Welsh local authorities also continue to support the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and the asylum system.
Chief executive of the Urdd, Sian Lewis, said: “This has been a huge team Wales effort across all sectors, and we are grateful to our partners for enabling us to open our doors as a refuge to families seeking shelter and safety.
“As an organisation, we are proud to help and continue to share with our members the importance of loyalty to country and culture but also to humanity and a higher good.
“We have a moral obligation as a national youth organisation to support humanitarian projects and offer a hand of friendship and support to the Afghan community in their time of need.”
Colonel Sion Walker, Deputy Commander 160th (Welsh) Brigade said: “160th (Welsh) Brigade and its Joint Military Command (Wales) is structured to support Welsh Government and all local authorities when dealing with major situations as we have done throughout the COVID pandemic.
“By supporting all those agencies involved in by cohering and refining the Wales plan, it has enabled them to focus on their key areas of responsibility and enabled the Wales plan to be pulled together in little over a week.
“There are direct historical links with Wales based and Wales facing units and members of many of those families coming to Wales.
“They will have worked alongside each other during very difficult times in Afghanistan; our involvement is recognition of the support given and comradeships developed during those times and we are proud to have played a part in making Wales a nation of sanctuary.”