More than 1,000 refugees have moved to Hampshire in the past 12 months

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
MORE than 1,000 refugees have been rehoused in Hampshire in the past 12 months.

On August 15 last year, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, leading to millions of people fleeing their homeland.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) there are 2.6m registered Afghan refugees around the world, with a further 3.5m displaced in Afghanistan itself.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Read More
Here's when it will be the hottest day in Portsmouth this week and what the temp...
Refugees waing for a bus in Lviv, Ukraine. Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesRefugees waing for a bus in Lviv, Ukraine. Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Refugees waing for a bus in Lviv, Ukraine. Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Then on February 24 this year, Russia invaded Ukraine, forcing more than 9.9m Ukrainians to flee the country.

Now, local authorities have confirmed that more than 1,000 refugees are living across Hampshire.

The majority of these are Ukrainians, living here under the government's Homes for Ukraine scheme, but roughly 100 Afghans are also living across the county.

Portsmouth City Council says there are 119 refugees from Ukraine and 56 from Afghanistan living in the city.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In Southampton, there are 92 Ukrainians and nine properties housing Afghan refugees.

Across the rest of Hampshire there are 31 Afghan families permanently settled, with a further 39 in temporary accommodation.

There are also 973 Ukrainian families, according to the county council.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Rob Humby, said: 'On top of all the Covid-induced pressures, this has been an added strain for the council.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

'But we have an excellent reputation for welcoming people who are escaping war and conflict - and Hampshire has truly extended the hand of friendship.

'The response from Hampshire and its residents has been superb, people can be proud of how they have carried themselves in the wake of these conflicts.'

With the possibility of future conflicts displacing even more people from their homelands, Cllr Humby says lessons must be learned despite the county's successes.

He said: 'It's a complicated process and perhaps things could have been improved in certain areas. In the future I think we need to provide more help to the districts and boroughs when it comes to matching up homes and families.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

'By doing this, we can make the service significantly more efficient and effective, which means families spend less time in temporary accommodation and get into long-term housing sooner.

'It gives them more time to become familiar with their surroundings and settle into their new lives.'