The Federal Budget announcement of 16,500 additional humanitarian visas for people from Afghanistan, over four years, is a necessary and welcome step. Australians have overwhelmingly indicated their support of a special intake of humanitarian visas for people from Afghanistan. The government has heard and responded.
The Australian Christian Lobby’s National Director of Politics, Wendy Francis, said,
“We are very grateful to the Morrison Government for making it possible to assist some of the most vulnerable people in Afghanistan who continue to suffer at the hands of the Taliban regime since the fall of Kabul seven months ago.
“Most affected are women, human rights defenders, and religious and ethnic minority groups. UNICEF reports up to one million children under five in Afghanistan could die by the end of the year due to the country’s food crisis and the lack of water and sanitation services.
“This is a tragedy of massive proportions. Australia has a moral obligation to assist where we can.
“The situation in Afghanistan continues to worsen under Taliban rule, with women banned from attending school from grade six upwards and media outlets being shut down. Afghan refugees currently in Australia will not be able to safely return to their nation of birth.
“For this reason, ACL calls on the government to go one step further and provide pathways to permanent protection for those on temporary protection visas, some of whom have been in a state of limbo for nearly a decade.”
This issue is something that unites Christians across the nation. The ACL was an active participant in the Micah Australia initiative, Christians United for Afghanistan, along with all mainstream Christian denominations.