Biden authorizes $100 million in emergency funds for Afghan refugees


FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden holds a meeting on infrastructure with labor and business leaders at the White House in Washington, U.S. July 22, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday authorized up to $100 million from an emergency fund to meet "unexpected urgent" refugee needs stemming from the situation in Afghanistan, including for Afghan special immigration visa applicants, the White House said.

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 is preparing to begin 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 expected 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 are available 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.

About 18,000 such applications are being processed, U.S. officials say.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sonya Hepinstall)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

Kin of Philippines 'drug war victims' hope for justice as ICC approves probe
Japan PM candidates differ on same-sex, women rights issues
Woman in New Zealand charged with murdering her children after arriving from South Africa
Venezuelan leader Maduro lands in Mexico ahead of Latin American leaders' summit
Algeria's former President Bouteflika dies at 84
Iran's fuel shipments violate Lebanon's sovereignty -PM
Guinea junta says it will not bow to pressure to let president leave
U.S. regrets France's decision to recall ambassador -White House official
Britain acted in opportunistic manner over U.S.-Australia deal -French source
France recalls envoys in U.S, Australia over submarine deal - statement

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers