EU to Pay Afghanistan’s Neighbors to Host Refugees

The European Union on Tuesday has pledged to pay an unspecified amount of funds to Afghanistan’s neighbors to manage and host a potential wave of refugees fleeing Taliban rule.

Ministers from the 27 EU countries during a consultation with representatives from the European Commission took the decision after gathering in Brussels for an in-person meeting of the EU Council.

EU interior ministers drafted a statement pledging financial support to “relevant international organizations” and neighboring countries of Afghanistan “to reinforce their capacities to provide protection, dignified and safe reception conditions and sustainable livelihood for refugees.”

Neither EU ministers nor the European Commission could confirm how much money would exactly be offered to Afghanistan’s neighbors but one EU official said that the plan was to offer up to €1 billion to neighboring countries.

The final statement agreed by ministers made it clear that the bloc’s end goal is to prevent a repeat of the 2015 migration crisis when more than 1 million migrants arrived at the bloc’s external borders.

The United Nations refugee agency estimated that around 500,000 Afghans could flee their country by the end of the year.

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