Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)_Monitoring, As of August 30, the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, or ORR, had 104 children in its care, while 130 were in the custody of state governments or non-governmental organizations.
Of the 104 still in federal care, 42 are in foster care, according to ORR data.
More than 1,500 children went to the US unaccompanied during the chaotic evacuation of Americans and Afghans who helped the US in August 2021, and ORR has placed more than 1,400 with family members or other adults.
The goal remains to reunify all Afghan children with their parents or relatives in the US, an ORR spokesperson said, although many do not yet have family outside Afghanistan, NBC reported.
“As soon as a child is identified as being without any trusted adult, we immediately begin working to reunite these children with their families and loved ones as quickly as possible, including by assisting Afghans who have arrived in the United States and have family members overseas come to the United States,” an ORR spokesperson said in a statement.
“These children have experienced far more trauma than any child ever should,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. “The urgency of this moment means doing whatever it takes to reunite these vulnerable children with their families. … These children can’t afford to wait decades for the United States to keep its promise to those left behind.”
Just one flight with evacuees leaves Kabul each week, and some countries where Afghans wait while applying to go to the US have stopped accepting refugees.
“We recognize that it is currently extremely difficult for Afghans to obtain a visa to a third country or find a way to enter a third country, and like many refugees, may face significant challenges fleeing to safety,” a State Department spokesperson said.
“We are continuing to review the situation on the ground and consider all available options, and our planning will continue to evolve.”