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IPFS News Link • Afghanistan

Promises to Afghans Go Unfulfilled One Year After Kabul Evacuation

•, by Kyle Anzalone

A year later, thousands of refugees languish in camps run by the US and its partners worldwide. Still, tens of thousands of people remain in Afghanistan who aided the nation-building effort and are seeking Washington's approval to come to the US. 

In the UAE and Kosovo, thousands of Afghan migrants are stranded in camps that residents call "prisons." Those Afghans were evacuated by the US military but have not received permission to enter the US. Camp Liya – the facility in Kosovo – was scheduled to close this week, but the US has scrapped plans to shut it.

In Albania, 800 Afghans live at a hotel. Unlike other Afghans, these migrants caught private flights from Kabul. Initially, private and public funding was lined up to cover the expenses. As Washington has moved slowly to offer a path for the refugees to gain permanent residence, some bills have gone unpaid. 

The Afghan Rescue Project now owes the hotel over $2 million for housing nearly 400 migrants. The group claims the US government should be responsible for the bill. "The US government has no responsibility for these people," said a senior State Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Congress has authorized $7 billion in funding to resettle Afghans. 

The White House claims it stated it would not bear any responsibility for Afghans who took private flights. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat, argues that the lines between public and private assistance were blurred as people rushed to board flights before the Taliban assumed complete control over Kabul. Slotkin worked with Albania for Tirana to accept refugees. Some of the Afghans who traveled to Albania worked with the US-built government.