Local agencies say Waterloo region can expect to welcome Afghan refugees soon
WATERLOO REGION – Local agencies are preparing for the arrival of Afghan refugees, but they don’t know how much this region can expect.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to bring 20,000 Afghan refugees to Canada after the Taliban regained control of the country, but details of the government’s resettlement plan are unclear to local agencies helping refugees .
“We have been informed that we will be receiving some of these refugees as part of this larger Canadian engagement. We’re sure some will come to KW, we have no idea how many, ”said Helen Loftin, director of fundraising and communications at Reception House Waterloo Region, an agency that supports refugees in the care of the government.
Loftin said the agency is making arrangements for accommodation and COVID-19 quarantine requirements for people who may arrive in the coming days.
She said the agency’s temporary accommodation is full, so the agency will use hotels to temporarily house not only Afghan refugees, but many other refugees who will continue to arrive in Canada.
Although the foster home cannot accept physical donations, she said monetary donations are helpful.
The Mennonite Central Committee is also responding to numerous calls from community groups asking how they can help as Canada prepares to resettle thousands of Afghan refugees.
“MCC finds itself in a difficult position with no clear direction. We don’t know how many refugees will be sponsored through the government-backed program or through the private refugee sponsorship program, ”a spokesperson for the relief organization said.
The group is also awaiting more information from the federal government.
In 2016, the Canadian government made a commitment to bring more than 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada, and the region of Waterloo welcomed nearly 2,000.
In recent days, thousands of Afghans have invaded Kabul International Airport in desperate calls to escape Taliban rule.