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8 April 2008
British Red Cross volunteers and staff have assisted the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence, and Migrant Helpline following the evacuation of families of Iraqi nationals who worked for the British armed forces in Iraq.
The families – six adults and 12 children - were flown out of Basra last night and arrived at a military airfield in Oxfordshire this morning. The Red Cross were on hand to greet the Iraqis at the airfield and are currently assisting them at temporary accommodation in Slough, providing emotional support and practical help.
Says Martin Annis, Head of Emergency Response and resilience at the British Red Cross: "The families are all very tired, but under the circumstances seem cheerful, and not at all distressed. We’re providing practical and emotional support for the families, and will do so until the families are moved to more permanent accommodation. This may involve, for example, making sure they have adequate clothing or sufficient food and refreshment. There are also young children so we are ensuring they also get the care and assistance they need."
The British Red Cross has a long tradition of providing practical assistance to vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees. Our trained volunteers provide support to thousands of people every year, helping them to adjust to life in a new country.