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The Government are therefore ready to offer assistance in resettling in the UK to those older and vulnerable British people who are unable to make their own arrangements to leave and unable to support themselves financially in Britain. The Government are making arrangements to receive, assess needs and support those eligible British citizens and British nationals with the right of abode who wish to resettle in the UK, including early access to benefits.

We are putting in place reception arrangements and provision for appropriate accommodation and support. The Local Government Association, ADSS housing associations, local authorities and charities are involved in discussions on practical support and funding. The costs of this programme will be met by Government.

This is a cross-government programme, involving a number of departments, which the Prime Minister has asked me to co-ordinate.

We are informing older and vulnerable British people in Zimbabwe of the assistance available through the British embassy in Harare. It is difficult to anticipate the extent of interest in this offer, but we estimate that up to 750 people may wish to come to the UK over 18 months.

The British embassy is not advising British people to leave Zimbabwe and continues to provide a full range of consular services to those who remain.

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