The Donegal Intercultural Platform is offering support to people from Afghanistan in Donegal during the current crisis.
The organisation said it is contact with local families who have relatives in Kabul and other places and are deeply fearful for their relatives’ safety and livelihood.
There is deep concern following the Taliban’s takeover of the country in recent days.
The Donegal Intercultural Platform is calling on the Irish Government to do what it can to ensure that international aid can continue to flow to the beleaguered people of the country.
“Through our intercultural work in the county we know something of the deep concerns of the Afghan people living here, for the safety and security of their families back home,” said Thoiba Ahmed and Paul Kernan, Co-Chairpersons of the Donegal Intercultural Platform.
“We fear a humanitarian catastrophe for all the people, particularly the impacts on women and girls, in Afghanistan and hope that Ireland can play a progressive and enabling role in bringing the necessary supports and assistance to the Afghan people. We hope that the human rights and safety of the people can be defended through all governmental and non-governmental channels.”
The Intercultural Platform has welcomed the call from the Immigrant Council of Ireland for the Department of Justice to prioritise family reunification applications from Afghan nationals.
They said: “It is our view that there should be a major emphasis on expediting applications in the coming days, with necessary processes such as DNA testing to verify family relationships being done in situ here in Ireland.
“We also welcome the statements from Minister Roderic O’Gorman TD and the Minister of State for Law Reform, Youth Justice and Immigration, James Browne, TD, who have announced the provision of up to 150 additional humanitarian visas for Afghans under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP). We believe however, that Ireland can do more in terms of numbers offered international protection here.”
The Donegal Intercultural Platform has offered to promote or coordinate any local assistance for the Afghan people when pathways for solidarity and assistance become clearer.
“If anyone originally from Afghanistan would like to speak to members of the Intercultural Platform please email us at email@example.com and we will offer what support we can,” Ms Ahmed and Mr Kernan said.