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In the Scottish Parliament debate on ‘Supporting the People of Afghanistan’, last week MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar Alasdair Allan highlighted the work of Western Isles charity, the Linda Norgrove Foundation.
Speaking in the chamber, Mr Allan commended the work of Lewis residents John and Lorna Norgrove, who founded the charity following the tragic death of their daughter Linda, an aid worker who was kidnapped by the Taliban in 2010.
‘To their great credit, Linda’s parents John and Lorna now work from their home in Lewis to fund and facilitate projects that continue Linda’s legacy of supporting women and families in Afghanistan,’ said Mr Allan.
‘The foundation have vowed to continue their work in Afghanistan to the best of their abilities under the new regime, despite the obvious difficulties.
‘The Linda Norgrove Foundation had been attempting to evacuate two vulnerable female staff members in Kabul along with their families.
‘Sadly, despite getting close several times over the course of a 46-hour ordeal, they did not manage to get on a plane before the military presence departed.
‘The Linda Norgrove Foundation is now anxious to find a way out of the country for them in the days ahead. I would ask the UK Government to be aware of and act on those concerns.’
Mr Allan also called on the UK Government to commit to taking in more refugees than the 5,000 they have said they will aim for in the first year (with 20,000 ‘in the long-term’): ‘As the Scottish Government have pointed out, those numbers are unlikely to be anything like adequate. And given the UK’s involvement in Afghanistan for decades it is not possible to claim we have no responsibilities here.
‘It is for another day to offer assessments about the political decisions that led to such a rapid withdrawal of those forces. Suffice to say, for the moment, that history is unlikely to be kind.’