Afghan child, evacuated alone, arrives in Canada: Report

Afghan child, evacuated alone, arrives in Canada: Report

A three-year-old Afghan boy has arrived in Toronto, where his father lives, after leaving Kabul alone more than two weeks ago, Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reported.
The boy, who The Globe identified as Ali for safety reasons for his family in Afghanistan, arrived in Canada on Monday after a 14-hour flight from Qatar.

He had survived the suicide bombing near the airport that killed 175 people last month, but was separated from his mother and four siblings who remain in Afghanistan.

The child spent two weeks in an orphanage in Qatar before traveling to Canada, accompanied by a UN official from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), according to the report.

“I haven’t slept for two weeks,” the boy’s father, who has lived in Toronto for two years, told The Globe at the airport.

Canada, part of the US-led coalition that invaded Afghanistan in 2001, has pledged to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Afghans this year.

“Afghans have risked their lives to help Canada help Afghans make important advances in democracy, human rights, education, health and security over the past 20 years,” said Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, said in a statement last month. “We owe them a debt of gratitude and we will continue our efforts to bring them to safety. “

With the withdrawal of US and allied troops from the country, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last month, capturing Kabul on August 15 with the flight of President Ashraf Ghani.

The US military, which maintained control of Kabul airport until August 31, carried out a chaotic evacuation operation to airlift US citizens, third country nationals and Afghan allies out of the country .

UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency, estimates that 300 unaccompanied minors were evacuated from Kabul last month to bases hosting refugees in Qatar, Germany and other countries.

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore called for the rapid identification of minors and reunification with their families. She said they are “among the most vulnerable children in the world”.

“I can only imagine how scared these children must have been to suddenly find themselves without their families as the airport crisis unfolded or they were taken away by an evacuation flight,” Fore said. in a statement last week.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met a group of unaccompanied Afghan children during a visit to Ramstein Air Base in Germany earlier this month.

“Many, many, many Americans are really looking forward to welcoming you and bringing you to the United States,” he told them.

US officials have said the country plans to host 50,000 Afghan refugees.


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