3 Sep, 2021 @ 18:30
1 min read

Spain’s Balearic Islands will host five families from Afghanistan amid looming ‘humanitarian catastrophe’

afghan refugees Photo: @MAECgob
afghan refugees Photo: @MAECgob

THE Balearic government has been notified that they will be assigned five families from Afghanistan.

This accounts for 33 people, 91% of which are minors and 33% of which are women with the average age to be 23-years-old.

The new arrivals will stay in two of the government’s dedicated hostels for refugees in Mallorca which are run by the Red Cross.

Spain’s inclusion, social security and migrations minister, Jose Luis Escriva, said the government’s priority was so these ‘evacuated families can start their new life in Spain as soon as possible’ and for efforts to be made to integrate the refugees into society.

He said: “This emergency has reminded us of the importance of having a robust international protection reception system, something that Spain has, but needs to be strengthened.”

refugees spain
Distribution of the refugees across Spain. Credit: Govt. Balearics

Balearic social affairs minister, Fina Santiago, said that ‘the region was ‘once again showing their solidarity in the face of one of the most serious international conflicts of the twenty-first century’ and that with their help, ‘these 33 people have been able to escape fanaticism and terror’.

It comes as the United Nations chief Antonio Guterres warned of a looming ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ in Afghanistan.

Urging countries to provide emergency funding following the full Taliban takeover after the final departure of the United States forces, Guterres spoke of his ‘grave concern at the deepening humanitarian and economic crisis in the country’.

“One in three Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from and more than half of all children under five are expected to become acutely malnourished within a next year,” said the general secretary.

Last week, Spanish troops completed a frantic rescue operation to airlift people from Afghanistan to Madrid’s Torrejon de Ardoz airbase.

According to data supplied by the government, a total of 1,584 people had been received at the base – 726 women and 858 men, while 631 minors were also received. 

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