Canada to boost evacuation process of Afghan refugees from Kabul
OTTAWA: On Friday, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said that Canada will speed up the processing of families of interpreters and others who helped the country’s mission in Afghanistan so that many people can be evacuated as soon as feasible.
Mendicino made the statements as Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan reported that the first Canadian jet carrying Afghan refugees flew out of Kabul Airport with 188 passengers on board.
Mendicino told The Canadian Press that his department is ramping up its process of Afghan refugees by adding more resources to the operations.
He claimed the Canadian government is not requiring Afghan immigrants to have passports or COVID-19 negative tests, and is deferring biometric screening to a third country where it would be safe for evacuees and government officials to be screened.
“We have now two of our largest air carriers running back and forth from Kabul. We’re going to keep those flights going for as long as possible,” he said.
The big hurdle, according to Mendicino, is the Taliban checkpoints that Afghans must pass through to get to the Kabul airport.
“It’s our expectation that every Afghan that is eligible under our program be permitted safe passage to get to the airport,” he said.
Two C-17 transport aircraft have been deployed to make regular flights out of Kabul, according to the Department of National Defense.
Canada is accelerating the evacuation of Afghans who supported its mission – having already waived passports and covid tests, it’s now moving biometric screening to a third country.
“We’re going to keep those flights going for as long as possible.” https://t.co/Yde7vReabC
— Marco Mendicino (@marcomendicino) August 20, 2021
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