The Migrant Destitution Fund relieves destitution among people in Greater Manchester with insecure immigration status and no recourse to public funds (NRPF) by providing cash grants to those in need. Recipients of the fund have included: people whose asylum claims have been refused by the Home Office (although many will later have their protection claims recognised), individuals who came to the UK on a spousal visa and lost their leave to remain after a relationship breakdown, and migrants who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were prevented from accessing state benefits.
Migrant destitution has a devastating impact on mental and physical health, and leaves people vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. The Fund aims to restore dignity and empower those who are forced into these degrading situations by Home Office policy.
Afzal Khan MP said: “I am delighted to become and ambassador for the Migrant Destitution Fund. Everyone, no matter where they come from, should have the right to basic necessities: food, shelter, and heating as a bare minimum. The government’s no recourse to public funds (NRPF) policy leaves many migrants without these, forcing people into extreme destitution.
As the crisis in Afghanistan has demonstrated, people are often forced to flee dangerous and traumatic situations without warning. While it is welcome to see many Afghan refugees getting the support they need, we are likely to see the number of destitute migrants rising in coming months due to the resumption of evictions from asylum seeker housing by the Home Office. Moreover, the government’s latest Nationality and Borders Bill will see most refugees denied access to the state safety net, forcing even more people into destitution.”
The Migrant Destitution Fund shouldn’t have to exist. But until we see a change to the hostile environment towards migrants, it is a vital lifeline for those in Greater Manchester made destitute by government policy and I am proud to support it.”
Sian Mullen from the Migrant Destitution Fund said: “We are really pleased to welcome Afzal Khan MP as an ambassador for the Migrant Destitution Fund and look forward to working together on highlighting the negative impact of the government’s NRPF policy, campaigning to bring this to an end, and providing ongoing support to those currently affected by it. Everyone should have the right to basic necessities such as food, heating, and shelter no matter where they are from, and Afzal’s support will help us engage more people on this important issue.”
Ibrahim, a disability and LGBT rights activist and volunteer with the Fund, said: “I am lucky to have got status, but I know many people who are stuck in hopeless situations. Asylum seekers flee their country because of persecution and hope to find refuge, but here they aren’t allowed to work or contribute to the UK. People can so easily find themselves destitute.”
For more information on the work of the Migrant Destitution Fund and how you can support them, visit their website at: www.migrantdestitution.co.uk