OTTAWA — The first “of a number of flights” carrying Afghan refugees who helped Canadian military personnel while deployed in Afghanistan have arrived in Canada.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, the federal government did not disclose how many refugees were on an evacuation flight that landed in Canada, but that more flights will be arriving in the coming days and weeks.
“We committed to do right by the Afghans who supported Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. With the arrival of the first resettled Afghan refugees in Canada, we are making good on that promise,” a spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada wrote in a news release.
The Afghans arriving in Canada helped the Canadian military during a 10-year deployment in the country during the Afghanistan war, but are now in danger due to a resurgent Taliban threat in the area.
“The government has been seized with the urgency on the ground and is working as quickly as possible to resettle Afghan nationals who put themselves at great risk to support Canada’s work in Afghanistan,” the IRCC statement read. “We have been working around the clock to identify individuals eligible to come to Canada under this special immigration program.”
The government added that each of the refugees have met the “eligibility, admissibility and security screenings” required to enter Canada. They have all been tested for COVID-19 and will follow Canada’s quarantine requirements.
“To help the Afghans adjust to life in Canada, service provider organizations in communities across Canada are preparing to welcome them,” the statement read. “Settlement organizations will help them to find permanent housing, language training, a job and connections with established immigrants and Canadians and provide them with the information that they need about life in Canada.”
Due to security reasons, information about where the interpreters will live will not be disclosed.