Government announces £5m funding for charities helping people who served in Afghanistan

British troops return from Afghanistan (Photograph: Jonathan Brady/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
British troops return from Afghanistan (Photograph: Jonathan Brady/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Armed forces charities are set to receive £5m in funding from the government to help those who have served in Afghanistan. 

Announcing the funding yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the funding would also support those who had supported the mission and could be affected by recent events in the country. 

The last UK troops left Afghanistan last month after 20 years, having arrived in the post-9/11 invasion that started the “war on terror”.

Before the Taliban took full control of the country, the end of the mission included a withdrawal process to evacuate civilians who had provided support to the British armed forces and thousands of British citizens visiting and working in the country, including charity staff.

The government said the additional funding would be allocated to a range of projects that would increase capacity in mental health charities, improve veterans’ understanding of the support available and deliver enhanced social support. 

It also aims to enable veterans to continue helping the people of Afghanistan who have settled in the UK under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme by providing social support, integration into local communities and help navigating life in the UK.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs will commission charity provision of targeted and relevant support for Afghan refugees with military links and provide surge capacity to support transition to life in the UK.

The Cabinet Office could not provide any more information on how the money would be allocated or if there would be an open application process. 

It said further details would be published in due course.

Leo Docherty, the minister for defence, people and veterans, said: “This targeted increase in funding to charities, both large and small, will allow those who served to receive a gold standard of care across the board.

“We are forever grateful to the serving personnel and veterans who aided the people of Afghanistan, and will ensure they get the support they need and deserve in the most accessible methods possible.”

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