According to the United Nations, approximately half a million Afghanis will evacuate the country by the end of the year. Already, 2.2 million Afghanis reside in neighboring countries while another 3.5 million are displaced throughout the nation (BBC, August 31, 2021). This is undoubtedly a humanitarian crisis.
The Taliban imprinted its violence on Afghanis in 1994 when they first captured the city of Kandahar and immediately forced their radical ideology into national law; its recent re-capturing of the Afghan government does little to calm the fears in those who experienced its radicalism first hand.
Pakistan and Iran are claiming they cannot “cope” with any more refugees, Uzbekistan said it would transfer Afghans to other countries but would only host refugees temporarily, and it remains unclear whether or not the Tajikistan government will take in the 100,000 refugees it promised (BBC, August 31, 2021).
That being said, more than 60 countries including the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Qatar, and the UK issued a collective statement saying, “Those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan bear responsibility – and accountability – for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order” (Reuters, August 15, 2021).
Afghanistan’s female robotics team is currently seeking refuge in Mexico and Qatar. Afghani female taekwondo athletes seek refuge in Australia, while the nation’s soccer team flew to Lisbon, Portugal for safety. Other countries like Canada are accepting close to 20,000 refugees that the U.S. helped evacuate during the height of the crisis (IRCC, August 13, 2021).
The fate of NGOs remains uncertain, despite the fact that the Taliban has actually requested or pleaded that they remain active in their operations. A few have remained active, like the Norwegian Refugee Council, Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and the World Food Program which has maintained a consistent presence in the region since 1962 (The Diplomat, August 26, 2021).
If the aforementioned examples highlight anything, it’s the fact that we should all be thinking like global citizens. As global citizens, we must concern ourselves with what is happening in other countries so that we may offer support and resources to those who need it.
Afghanistan girls soccer team given asylum in Portugal. (2021, September 21). AP NEWS. https://apnews.com/article/soccer-immigration-sports-portugal-professional-soccer-b2097da4ac6ba491b31fffc2431091d3
Afghanistan: How many refugees are there and where will they go? (2021, August 31). BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58283177
Bloch, H. (2021, August 31). A Look At Afghanistan’s 40 Years Of Crisis—From The Soviet War To Taliban Recapture. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2021/08/19/1028472005/afghanistan-conflict-timeline
Can NGOs Continue to Provide Aid in Afghanistan? (n.d.). Retrieved September 24, 2021, from https://thediplomat.com/2021/08/can-ngos-continue-to-provide-aid-in-afghanistan/
Immigration, R. and C. C. (2021, August 13). Canada expands resettlement program to bring more Afghans to safety [News releases]. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2021/08/canada-expands-resettlement-program-to-bring-more-afghans-to-safety.html
News, A. B. C. (n.d.). Afghanistan updates: 4th evacuation flight leaves Kabul for Qatar, Americans on board. ABC News. Retrieved September 24, 2021, from https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/live-updates/afghanistan-withdrawal-live-updates/?id=79482353
Seven female Afghan taekwondo athletes resettle in Australia. (2021, September 22). AP NEWS. https://apnews.com/article/soccer-sports-australia-international-soccer-evacuations-59096231157549b0c29b56963907c829
Shepardson, D. (2021, August 16). More than 60 countries say Afghans, others must be allowed to leave Afghanistan. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/more-than-60-countries-say-afghans-others-must-be-allowed-leave-afghanistan-2021-08-16/