Insights into the Afghanistan Response and Service Delivery

August 22, 2022
Data Hub
Data Hub Team
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Data Hub Team

In our 13th Information and Data Hub survey, we looked at the response of UK organisations to the crisis in Afghanistan and service delivery and planning. This bulletin presents data collected from 56 organisations working with people in the immigration system across the UK.

Afghanistan Crisis Response

44 organisations are responding, or planning to respond to the Afghanistan Crisis. Respondents are supporting or planning to support the following groups:

  • Newly arrived Afghan adults and/or children (64%) 
  • Afghan adults with active asylum claims already residing in the UK (55%)
  • Afghan adults in the UK with refused asylum claims (48%)

77% of respondents are coordinating with other third sector orgs and 74% are coordinating with local authorities to respond to the Afghanistan crisis. 

Supporting new arrivals 

The most commonly reported needs of new arrivals are: 

  1. Emotional and mental health support 81% 
  2. Basic material support and support or advice for friends and family 65% 
  3. Interpreting support 62% 
  • 40% respondents told us that less than half of their newly arrived clients are aware of their immigration status in the UK.
  • 46% of organisations working with new arrivals have secured emergency funding or additional resources and 54% are reallocating internal resources to respond to the needs of new arrivals.
  • 54% of organisations said that supporting new arrivals from Afghanistan has impacted their capacity and the support they can provide to other groups.
For the last 20 days, 600 people have been coming to our office, queuing from 5am.”

Supporting Afghans already in residing in the UK

24 organisations supporting Afghan adults already in the UK with active asylum claims told us about the needs of this client group in more detail. Main needs include:

  1. Emotional and mental health support (92%) 
  2. Legal advice on their immigration cases (83%) 
  3. Support or advice for friends and family in Afghanistan (79%) 
"We have been supporting some individuals who have family back in Afghanistan who are currently seeking asylum here and they have just been totally traumatised, and we have had to work very closely with them to monitor risk around mental health."
  • 27% have seen an increase in requests for advice about asylum support from those already in the UK who cannot be removed. 
  • 17% have seen an increase in requests for advice for unaccompanied asylum seeking children residing in the UK.

Service Delivery and Planning

The main reported challenges over the next six months for organisations are:

  1. Insufficient, inflexible or insecure funding (46%)
  2. Insufficient management time/capacity for service adaptation and a lack of staff/volunteers to meet client needs, both at 35%. 
  3. Challenges with effective outreach to new or hard to reach clients, and insufficient time or capacity for advocacy/campaigning, both at 31%.

The impact of the pandemic on strategic priorities, ability to plan, service delivery, and partnerships:

  • 58% of organisations told us their strategic priorities have been shaped by the pandemic
  • 65% told us the pandemic continues to affect their ability to plan for the future
  • 81% of respondents (42) told us their organisation has adopted a hybrid service delivery model as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

90% of respondents reported that they had created new partnerships or collaborations with other organisations over the pandemic period. Of these, 98% told us that all or some of their new partnerships had been sustained.

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To request the raw data, please email Helen Barley.

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