New York, NY, August 3, 2021 — Reacting to the announcement of a P2 designation for US-affiliated Afghan nationals, IRC’s Senior Vice President for Resettlement, Asylum and Integration, Jennifer Sime, said:
“The latest P2 announcement is another step in the right direction as the United States works to meet its commitment and moral obligation to protect vulnerable Afghans. However, major questions about implementation remain. US-affiliated Afghans must travel to a third country to initiate processing for P2 status—a barrier that could put this pathway to safety out of reach for many US-affiliated Afghans. There are also outstanding questions about which third countries will host US-affiliated Afghans awaiting processing. Processing capacity must be scaled up rapidly to process everyone in a timely, efficient and safe manner that prevents backlogs and provides these individuals with much-needed safe haven in the United States. And the protection of individuals affiliated with the US mission must be part and parcel of a robust humanitarian response and refugee resettlement program that also protects the millions of vulnerable, non-US-affiliated Afghans in the midst of rising violence and displacement.
“There can be no doubt that U.S. humanitarian leadership is critical and life-saving -- especially when responsive to global needs. Historic bipartisan support for humanitarian action and providing safety in the US for persecuted people is a clear demonstration of American values in action.”
The United States has begun relocating a group of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants to Virginia. The International Rescue Committee and U.S. partner agencies will be providing services for these individuals, including reception, medical care, case management, and resettlement by a sponsoring resettlement agency. The IRC has resettled more than 16,000 Afghan SIV recipients since Congress established the program in 2006, and is committed to ensuring that these families are given a chance to seek safety and rebuild their lives in the United States.
The IRC has operated in Afghanistan since 1988. The IRC provides a multi-sector emergency response across eight provinces and five regions in Afghanistan. The country program currently has over 1,700 staff and served nearly 1.1 million clients in 2019 through safe healing and learning spaces, education support, livelihoods skills development and small business support, cash assistance, WASH, shelter and protection.