For Many Afghan Evacuees, a Rocky Path to a New Life

The United States and other nations helped evacuate some 120,000 Afghans from their country after the Taliban took over last August. In the months since, tens of thousands of former Afghan commandos, translators, journalists and charity workers, as well as their families, have made their way abroad.

The vast majority of them have gained entry to the United States under a decade-old special immigrant visa program open to military interpreters and others who worked on government-funded contracts. A separate refugee admission program appears to have granted admission to just a tiny percentage of those who applied.

In Afghanistan, the situation remains desperate. Scores of Afghans are still trying to relocate to a safer home. A Gallup survey this month indicated that some 94% of Afghans rate their lives poorly enough to be considered “suffering,” with some three quarters of respondents saying they cannot afford to buy food for their families.

Many Afghans who have successfully navigated the chaotic immigration process now face the challenge of starting over in an unfamiliar new country. VOA reporters have followed several families now trying to start over in a new place, navigating strange customs and confusing bureaucracies, while worrying about loved ones back in Afghanistan.

 

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