INVERCLYDE is set to offer refuge to a total of 40 Afghan families who have been forced to flee their country as the Taliban storms back into power.

A total of 33 men, women and children from six families have already been resettled in the area since April.

Inverclyde Health & Social Care Partnership is now responding to the humanitarian crisis that has unfolded in recent weeks by extending a welcome to another six families by October.

And plans are in place for another 28 families who were in fear for their lives to join them in Inverclyde.

A report to the integrated joint board by interim chief officer Allen Stevenson said: "It is worthy of note that these families are receiving warm support from the people and communities of Greenock and Port Glasgow where they have settled.

"At the same time as offering ongoing support to refugees from earlier resettlement schemes, it is proposed that Inverclyde extend our offer of support and resettlement opportunities to a further six families before the end of October 2021 and agreement is given to develop plans to commit to support up to 28 further Afghan families.

"This will involve an offer of support and resettlement to as many as 140 individuals, fleeing the humanitarian crisis of their home country."

The refugees who have recently settled in the area have been helped by local people who have started collecting supplies to support them.

Since 2015 Inverclyde has offered refuge to 33 families from the Syrian and Vulnerable Children resettlement schemes.

In April 2021, when the UK Government launched the Afghan relocation scheme, the district responded by offering accommodation and support.

A financial support package is provided for each individual who is part of the resettlement arrangements.