Due to a change in application procedures, Afghans in Turkey are facing major obstacles when applying for asylum. Sadaf Doost interviewed Dr. Zakira and Dr. Ali Hekmat, co-founders of Afghan Refugees Solidarity and Aid Association, on their work providing relief for Afghan refugees in Turkey.
Drought affects 80 percent of Afghanistan’s territory. The government has drawn direct ties between the climate and the country’s economy, food security, and overall stability, so people displaced by climate change-related emergencies could slow Afghanistan’s growth and undermine efforts to reach a successful peace plan.
Turkey currently hosts the largest population of refugees in the world, including a growing number of Afghan refugees. Following a recent change in asylum procedures for Afghans and other non-Syrians in Turkey, Afghans have been facing increasing difficulties in registering with the authorities. Izza Leghtas and Jessica Thea recommend ways in which Turkish officials can make policy adjustments that will better ensure the rights of refugees.
In this statement, Refugees International expresses its deep concern regarding the return in recent weeks of thousands of Afghan nationals from Turkey back to Afghanistan where their safety is at risk. On April 23, Turkey’s minister of the interior announced that 7,100 Afghans had been returned to Afghanistan and that thousands more would follow shortly.
Avalanches and flash floods played havoc on parts of Afghanistan last month, causing the deaths of over 285 villagers in Panjshir province. The snow and floods destroyed hundreds of homes and forced hundreds of families to turn to their neighbors and aid agencies for food, clothing, and shelter to survive.
“Afghanistan is not hopeless.”
So said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) in a recent speech at the US Institute of Peace. Cotton, elected to the Senate last year after one term in the House of Representatives, is a former U.S. Army officer. He served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division and in 2008-9 with a U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan. Now a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Cotton is working to convince the president and his colleagues of the importance of continued U.S. and international engagement in support of the security, development, and humanitarian needs of the Afghan people.