By Eve Brennan, Jessie Gretener and Chris Stern, CNN
(CNN) — The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said European Union states have “consistently neglected the needs of Afghans” in a report published on Wednesday, where it found that only 271 of the more than 270,000 Afghans identified as needing permanent protection were resettled in the bloc in 2022.
Afghans represent the third largest refugee population globally, the IRC said, adding that many Afghans still lack pathways to safety in Europe nearly two years after the Taliban’s takeover.
The report identified “significant hurdles” in Europe for Afghan refugees, including the threat of pushbacks or forcible returns, barriers to fair asylum procedures, and long periods of detention-like centers.
The report also said that Germany has been at the forefront of EU-wide efforts to welcome Afghans since the Taliban takeover, and expressed concerns for its current program to welcome Afghan refugees.
In October last year, the German government announced a federal admission program that committed to admitting up to 1,000 Afghans a month until September 2025. However, the IRC claimed that not a single Afghan refugee had arrived in Germany under the program as of May 2023.
Germany’s Federal Foreign Office spokesperson, Christofer Burger, told CNN he was not aware of the IRC report. However, he said that the government is “working under high pressure to get the security procedures for people leaving the country [Afghanistan] back on track as quickly as possible so that the reception can be continued quickly.”
Burger said they are concerned about getting people who are in a “very precarious situation” to safety quickly and said Germany has taken in more than 30,000 Afghans since the Taliban took over in August 2021.
CNN has reached out to the European Commission for comment on the report.
Nearly two years since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan, in a lightning takeover following the withdrawal of US troops, the humanitarian situation in the country has worsened. IRC says about two-thirds of Afghanistan’s population is in need of humanitarian assistance.
After the takeover, the US and its allies froze about $7 billion of the country’s foreign reserves and cut off international funding – crippling an economy heavily dependent on overseas aid.
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