TWR News Brief July 2021

Nationality and Borders Bill – North West Syria and Afghanistan – World Food Programme Cuts to Refugees

The new Nationality and Borders Bill (based on the Draft Immigration Policy published in March) will mean that thousands of men, women and children, who would currently be accepted as refugees would no longer be given safety in the UK due to their method of arrival. It seems than some could even be criminalised and put in prison for up to four years if they knowingly arrive in the country without permission. (However, the CPS has since stated it will not prosecute solely on the grounds of illegal entry).

It provides the State with powers to intercept small boats of migrants and asylum-seekers attempting to cross the Channel and take them to any place (on land or on water) in the UK or elsewhere.

People seeking asylum whose claims are deemed ‘inadmissible’ will have to wait up to 6 months before their application can be processed, whilst the Government tries to remove them to so-called ‘safe countries’, however no ‘safe countries’ have yet agreed to be part of this process.

The proposed legislation may include people being held in reception centres that could be offshore, which is likely to have a significant impact the mental health and well-being of already vulnerable individuals.
The Government insists it supports the expansion safe routes to the UK. Unfortunately, nothing in this bill makes provision for direct resettlement.

Please continue to express your concerns to your local MP (for further information go to and

Please also join us on-line on Wednesday 21st July at 6.30 pm for a presentation by Raawijah Rifath (one of our new volunteers) entitled:

‘Current Asylum Policy: An Introduction’


UK Asylum Applications Processing 2020

The target waiting time for a decision on whether asylum will be granted is 6 months. However figures now available indicate that last year

  • over 30,000 people had waited more than a year for an initial asylum decision
  • this included 6,887 children
  • 5% of people had been waiting for more than 3 years
  • the number receiving an initial asylum decision within 6 months was just 20%
    (Refugee Council July 2nd 2021)
Europe’s Provision for Syrian Refugees

European Union leaders agreed in principle on continued finance for Turkey for hosting refugees, in addition to previously agreed funding for Jordan and Lebanon. Turkey currently hosts nearly 3.7 million Syrian refugees, while Lebanon has 855,000 and Jordan nearly 667,000. (UNHCR June 25th 2021)

Aid Access for North West Syria

The existing authorization for cross-border relief operations, to deliver food aid via the Turkish border through Bab al-Hawa was due to expire on 10 July. More than 70 per cent of the population in NW Syria (Idlib) are dependent on this humanitarian aid, and nearly 3 million are displaced. A last minute agreement means that this route will stay open, but only for 1 year. NGOs have called not only for reauthorization of this route, but also for reinstating
two other crossings. They believe without this continuing cross-border response, lives will be lost. (ITV News July 6th 2021, UNHCR June 25th 2021)

Food Crisis for Syrian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon

Some 21,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan expect their monthly food assistance from the World Food Programme to end this month, due to funding shortages. Food insecurity among refugees in Jordan has doubled in the past year and now affects a quarter of all refugees.
(UNHCR 9th July 2021)

Meanwhile more than three-quarters of households in Lebanon, including 99 per cent of Syrian refugee households, do not have enough food or money to buy food. This is due to the combination of a devastating recession, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Beirut Port explosions in August 2020. While the estimated 1.5 million Syrians living in the country (including 855,000 refugees) have been hardest hit, the number of Lebanese people in need of support was growing rapidly. (UNICEF 6th July 2021)

Afghans Flee Ahead of Taliban

Tens of thousands of Afghan families are fleeing to escape the Taliban’s rapid advance across the northern region as the US and its allies pull out the last of their troops ahead of 11 September deadline. The Afghan government and the Taliban movement met in Tehran this week and released a joint statement saying the Taliban does not support attacks on civilians, schools, mosques and hospitals and wants a negotiated settlement on
Afghanistan’s future. (UNHCR July 2nd 2021)

AND FINALLY (to cheer us up)

‘One Thousand Dreams’