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First Group of Afghan Refugees Arrive

Canada has welcomed the first of a number of Afghan refugees who provided vital support to Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. The first group of Afghans in question have resettled through the special immigration program.

Ministers Announce Arrival

On August 4, Marco E. L. Mendicino, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, Marc Garneau, minister of foreign affairs, and Harjit S. Sajjan, minister of national defence, issued the following statement in response to the group’s arrival.

“This first group is now beginning their new life in Canada, and we welcome them with open arms. More flights will be arriving in the coming days and weeks. We committed to do right by the Afghans who supported Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.”

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Marco Mendicino, welcomes the first flight of Afghan refugees who provided crucial support to the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, at Toronto Pearson International Airport, August 4, 2021. Photo by: Cpl Rachael Allen, Canadian Forces Combat Camera, Canadian Armed Forces photo

Working as Quickly as Possible

With the arrival of the first resettled Afghan refugees in Canada, the ministers expressed that they are making good on that promise. The Government has been seized with the urgency on the ground and is working as quickly as possible to resettle the refugees.

“We have been working around the clock to identify individuals eligible to come to Canada under this special immigration program,” they added.

According to their statement, the team on the ground in Afghanistan, including support staff, helping clients submit their applications and requested documentation.

A CC-177 Globemaster aircraft carrying the first group of Afghan refugees who supported Canada’s mission in Afghanistan lands at Toronto Pearson International Airport on August 4, 2021. Photo byCpl Rachael Allen, Canadian Forces Combat Camera, Canadian Armed Forces photo Image courtesy of the Canadian Government/Canadian Armed Forces.

Special Immigration Program

All of Canada’s requirements for the special immigration program concerning eligibility, admissibility, and security screenings have been met by all individuals arriving under this program. The statement noted, every Afghan refugee was tested for COVID-19 on arrival and will follow all quarantine and testing requirements.

The ministers also informed, “These refugees are coming to Canada as government-assisted refugees. To help the Afghans adjust to life in Canada, service provider organizations in communities across Canada are preparing to welcome them.

“Settlement organizations will help them to find permanent housing, language training, a job and connections with established immigrants and Canadians and provide them with the information that they need about life in Canada, and the community in which they will settle. All of these services will help Afghans settle into their new home.”

In closing their statement, the ministers offered their thanks “to those working at Global Affairs Canada, the Department of National Defence, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency who have been working tirelessly to facilitate this process. Image courtesy of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Protect privacy & Safety

As stated in a press release on July 23, to protect the privacy and safety of those who are resettled, the identity of those who will be resettled, how they will be evacuated, or when will not be disclosed. For security reasons, further operational details won’t be disclosed.

In closing their statement, the ministers offered their thanks “to those working at Global Affairs Canada, the Department of National Defence, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency who have been working tirelessly to facilitate this process.

“We would also like to thank all of the advocacy groups across the country who have worked so hard to make this possible.”

nyone interested in helping refugees arriving in Canada can volunteer or donate clothing, furniture, or money by emailing [email protected] to connect with Canadian refugee resettlement agencies providing support to Afghan refugees or by contacting a local service provider organization.

How People Can Help

In addition to these supports, there are social networks and service providers that assist with the resettlement process. By tapping into these networks and organizations, refugees can find jobs and housing, improve their language skills, integrate with the community, learn the culture and receive additional support.

Anyone interested in helping refugees arriving in Canada can volunteer or donate clothing, furniture, or money by emailing [email protected] to connect with Canadian refugee resettlement agencies providing support to Afghan refugees or by contacting a local service provider organization.

For more information, visit here.

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Julia Lennips

Julia is a journalist who is an avid reader and an artist. She is living in North Bay, ON pursing her passion for reporting.

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