SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

Biden authorizes $100 million in emergency funds for Afghan refugees

The White House said on Friday U.S. President Joe Biden authorized up to $100 million from an emergency fund to meet “unexpected urgent” refugee needs, including for Afghan special immigration visa applicants.

Biden also authorized the release of $200 million in services and articles from the inventories of U.S. government agencies to meet the same needs, the White House said.

The United States will start evacuating thousands of Afghan applicants for special immigration visas (SIVs) who risk retaliation from Taliban insurgents because they worked for the U.S. government.

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

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

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

Special immigrant visas will be provided to Afghans who worked as translators or in other jobs for the U.S. government after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would expand the number of SIVs that could granted by 8,000, which would cover all potentially eligible applications in the pipeline.

    Source:
  • Reuters