Tuesday September 21, 2021

US offers refuge to more Afghans who aided Americans

August 03, 2021

WASHINGTON: Thousands more Afghans who may be targets of Taliban violence due to their US affiliations will have the opportunity to resettle as refugees in the United States under a new programme announced by the State Department on Monday.

“In light of increased levels of Taliban violence, the US government is working to provide certain Afghans, including those who worked with the United States, the opportunity for refugee resettlement to the United States,” the State Department said in the announcement, a British wire service reported.

The programme, which the announcement said could help “many thousands” of Afghans, comes as fighting surges in Afghanistan ahead of the formal completion of the US troop withdrawal at the end of this month, with the Taliban pushing to capture key provincial capitals.

US President Joe Biden has faced pressure from lawmakers and advocacy groups to help Afghans at risk of Taliban retaliation because of their association with the United States during the 20-year war. Those who worked as employees of contractors, locally employed staff and interpreters and translators for the US government or armed forces are eligible for the programme, as well as Afghans employed by a US-based media organisation or non-governmental organisation (NGO), the State Department said.