NZ likely to help fleeing Afghans at high risk

Credit: Original article can be found here

Ōtautahi – A number of countries helped Afghans escape
from the change of power in their own country.

Those
managing to leave are the latest additions to the world’s
third-largest displaced population, according to the World
Economic Forum.

Most Afghan refugees have historically
departed for neighbouring countries.

The rapid collapse of
Afghan government forces and the Taliban’s seizure of
power will produce shockwaves around the world.

The
dramatic end of the Afghanistan mission will inevitably
raise the question of future military
interventions.

Afghans have left their country in large
numbers for the last four decades, fleeing a communist coup,
a destabilising Soviet invasion that led to the Taliban’s
repressive theocracy, and the tumult that followed.

The
result is the third-largest displaced population in the
world.

Now, the collapse of Afghanistan’s western-backed
government, abrupt pull-out of US troops, and return to
power of the Taliban have spurred more Afghans to seek a way
out – braving potentially deadly attacks in the
process.

Dozens of countries have taken in local Afghans.
It seems that the international community is taking
considerable steps in assisting their Afghan
partners.

Countries such as the US, the UK, Canada and
Australia have announced their commitments in terms of the
number of refugees that they will be accepting from
Afghanistan, however New Zealand has not yet confirmed
numbers at this stage.

South Island spokesperson for the
Afghan Association of NZ, University of Canterbury
postgraduate and former Afghan refugee Hedayat Najib says he
fully understands that considering the size of New Zealand,
the commitment may not be as large as other nations.

“In
New Zealand we have always been on the right side of helping
countries in need. These decision have put us on the map of
the world.

“We were the first country to allow women to
vote; we finally stood against apartheid, we became
nuclear-free and assisted our international partners in
Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Afghan-Kiwis are hopeful the
government will open our doors to those Afghans at high
risk. We want our Afghan-Kiwi to live in peace.

“We are
more than happy to help relatives settle in New Zealand,
provide them with pastoral care, and other types of
assistance upon their arrival. New Zealanders can help here.
Kiwis are generous and we are confident we will the support
in this historic humanitarian initiative.

The UK has
pledged to welcome 20,000 Afghan refugees, Australia has
made room for 3000 and Tajikistan, already home to a
sizeable Afghan refugee population, has committed to taking
in 100,000 more.

About 20,000 Afghans are believed to be
awaiting a US visa designated for people who helped the
American military or diplomats. The US has pledged to
resettle up to 50,000 Afghans.

About 600,000 Afghans
returned or were deported from Pakistan and Iran during the
first half of this year alone, according to the UN Refugee
Agency. NZ likely to help fleeing Afghans at high
risk

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