Resettling Afghan refugees and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

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An Afghan woman holds her children as she waits for a consultation outside a makeshift clinic organized by World Vision in an IDP settlement near Herat, Afghanistan, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov)

An Afghan woman holds her children as she waits for a consultation outside a makeshift clinic organized by World Vision in an IDP settlement near Herat, Afghanistan, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov)

More than 75,000 Afghans have fled from their country and left behind family, friends, jobs and so much more to come to the United States since U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan in September. Hundreds of them have been resettled in the Philadelphia region.

This hour, we’ll check on that effort and hear about some of their experiences leaving their country and trying to make a new life in America. Our guests are MARIAM STANEKZAI, an Afghan immigrant who was recently resettled outside Philadelphia, and FARWA AHMADI, a case manager with the Nationalities Service Center and former Afghan refugee.

Then, we turn to the humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan where 23 million people are facing life-threatening hunger. According to the UN’s World Food Program, only five percent of Afghans have sufficient food. Should the United States lift sanctions against the Taliban government and stop restricting their finances to try to aid the Afghan people?

We’ll talk about the dire situation, the policies that could help and the challenges that working with the new Taliban government present. SHELLEY THAKRAL, who is in Kabul for the World Food Program, and LAUREL MILLER, director of International Crisis Group’s Asia Program are our guests.

Guests

Mariam Stanekzai, a recent Afghan immigrant and an engineer who is now living in the Philadelphia region with her husband and young daughter.

Farwa Ahmadi, a case manager at Nationalities Service Center and director of AOPxSola, which works to empower and mobilize the Afghan community in the city of Philadelphia.

Laurel Miller, Director of International Crisis Group’s Asia Program. She was the deputy and acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the U.S. Department of State from 2013 to mid-2017.

Shelley Thakral, World Food Program spokesperson for Afghanistan based in Kabul

Recommended reading

WHYY, Philly nonprofit, N.J. masjid collect much-needed items for Afghan evacuees at Fort Dix

The Philadelphia Inquirer, New ‘Afghans of Philadelphia’ seeks to forge a vibrant community as hundreds of evacuees resettle here

The New York Times, Afghanistan Is in Meltdown, and the U.S. Is Helping to Speed It Up

The Washington Post, US announces $308 million in aid for Afghans as crisis grows

ABC News, WFP director for Afghanistan warns of “tsunami of hunger’

 

 

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