Thousands of Civilians Remain Desperate to Escape Afghanistan After Taliban Takeover
By: Alyssa Wilson
The fate of Afghans fleeing their homes after the Taliban took over is in the hands of many countries, including the United States.
Afghanistan is now under the control of the Taliban after the group took over following the departure of United States troops. President Joe Biden made the decision to withdraw American soldiers after announcing his desire to end the nearly 20-year war. On Monday, Biden said he did not want to pass the responsibility of the war onto a fifth president. Despite the criticism he faced after the Taliban quickly took over Kabul, he said he still stands by his decision.
According to The New York Times, more than 300,000 Afghan civilians helped America with its mission in Afghanistan, but only a small number of them qualify for refugee protection in the United States.
The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan released a statement on visa processing and said the focus is first on getting U.S. citizens out of the country before assisting Afghan civilians who helped America. “We are also doing everything we can to accelerate our efforts to relocate those Afghans who have worked with us or on our behalf over the years,” the statement said. Those who are eligible for Special Immigrant Visas need to submit an application package to the National Visa Center.
Now that the Taliban is in control of the country, Afghan nationals and many others are searching for ways to escape. According to The Washington Post, human rights organizations sent information on the identities and details of thousands of Afghan civilians who do not qualify for visas to the State Department.
The UK will double its humanitarian and development aid to Afghanistan to £286m this year. We call on others to follow our lead to ensure the most vulnerable Afghans receive the humanitarian assistance they need.
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) August 18, 2021
The United Kingdom announced it would be doubling its humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and called on other countries to do the same. Britain announced Tuesday that it would welcome up to 5,000 civilians fleeing Afghanistan in a resettlement program that prioritizes women, girls and minorities, Reuters reported.
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