US Approves $100 Million Funding for Afghan Refugees Needs, Evacuation

Web DeskWeb Editor

24th Jul, 2021. 02:45 pm

US President Joe Biden has authorised up to $100 million from an emergency fund to meet the “unexpected urgent” refugee needs stemming from the situation in Afghanistan, including for Afghan special immigration visa applicants, Al Jazeera, quoted the White House, as saying, on Saturday.

Biden also approved on Friday the release of $200 million in services and articles from the inventories of the US government agencies to meet the same needs, it said.

The United States is preparing to begin evacuating thousands of Afghan applicants for special immigration visas (SIVs) who are at risk from the Taliban because they worked for the US government.

The first batch of evacuees and their families is expected to be flown before the end of the month to Fort Lee, a US military base in Virginia, where they will wait for the final processing of their visa applications.

Around 2,500 Afghans could be brought to the facility, about 48km (30 miles) south of Richmond, the Pentagon said earlier.

The Biden administration is reviewing other US facilities in the US and overseas where SIV applicants and their families could be accommodated.

“The US Embassy will coordinate with the State Department to support Operation Allies Refuge,” said Ambassador Ross Wilson, the US Chargé d’Affaires in Kabul.

“These relocation operations will allow the United States to fulfill its commitment to those who have served our country here at great personal risk,” Wilson said.

There are around 20,000 interpreters, clerks, drivers and others with their family members who are in process of applying for visas to enter the US under a special programme for Afghans.

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