ActionStation, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand and Oxfam Aotearoa support the Council of International Development (CID) statement released asking the Government to step up support for Afghanistan communities. The three charities said in a joint statement:
“We whole heartedly support the statement released today by CID. As we understand, Cabinet is meeting imminently to discuss the next steps of the lives of those left behind in Afghanistan and we encourage the Government to make sure they engage with and listen to the Afghan community in New Zealand as they make decisions. We also join CID in their ask to the government.”
CID’s statement asks the New Zealand government to play its part, which includes:
- At least double aid to Afghanistan to support local organisations
- Increase humanitarian aid for surrounding countries taking in refugees now
- Welcome at least 1500 Afghan refugees in this year’s current refugee intake, over and above the current Refugee Resettlement Quota, for those at most immediate risk
- Expedite visa processing of both Refugee Family Support Category Visa and Critical Purpose Visas for those with a connection to New Zealand
- Support the reunification of families
Last month, Canada committed to taking 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan, the UK committed to 20,000, and Australia 3,000 refugees; however, New Zealand has made no such commitments. More than 18 million people in Afghanistan are now dependent on aid. 600,000 people have fled their homes in the last few weeks.
Recently, Amnesty International, Oxfam Aotearoa and ActionStation handed over a petition to the Minister of Immigration Phil Twyford asking for the safe passage of people in Afghanistan to Aotearoa. The petition gained the support of over 21,000 Kiwis.