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Gov. Hochul commits $2M to help Afghan refugees resettle in New York

Food is readied for lunch in the dining hall at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, IN. (Rashika Jaipuriar/ The Indianapolis Star/TNS)
December 11, 2021

New York Gov. Hochul welcomed Afghan refugees, revising the count of expected arrivals from the war-bruised nation upward.

The governor announced the state expects to take in some 1,800 refugees from Afghanistan and committed an extra $2 million to support the newcomers, who fled a country under the heel of the Taliban after the U.S. withdrew over the summer.

In September, when tragic images of America’s pullout were still fresh, Hochul’s office said the state could resettle roughly 1,100 Afghan evacuees in New York over the next six months.

On Tuesday, Hochul said New York was ready to accept “as many” refugees as are requested of it during the American resettlement effort, calling it a “huge point of pride for us.”

“Our message to the world is: Send us your people, send us those who need the cloak of comfort,” she said in remarks from Manhattan. “We’ll provide a safe haven, particularly for these Afghan refugees.”

The new arrivals are joining some 7,500 Afghans who already lived in New York State.

According to Hochul’s office, 495 evacuees are expected to land in Buffalo, the governor’s hometown; 420 in Syracuse; 275 in Rochester; 250 in Albany; 190 are expected in the New York City area; 50 are expected per locality in Niagara Falls, Utica, and Yonkers; and 10 are expected in Rockville Center.

According to the governor’s office, the extra $2 million in state funding will be distributed to nonprofits and will go toward helping the arrivals adjust to life in New York.

“I know that this is going to be money well spent,” Hochul said.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, 25,000 Afghan evacuees had been resettled across the U.S., and some 45,000 were awaiting relocation at seven military bases.

The Taliban swept into Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, on Aug. 15 as the U.S. was pulling out of the country. The early months of their reign have proved rocky.

The United Nations has warned that almost 23 million people, more than half of the country’s population, face extreme hunger ahead of the frigid winter months.

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© 2021 New York Daily News

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