Dear Congregants of CEW,
As many of you may be aware, Dana and I established an NGO after 9/11 to assist returning, refugee farmers to Afghanistan. Our NGO – The Global Partnership for Afghanistan (GPFA) – worked in over 20 of the 34 provinces and, over 10 years, and with the assistance of hundreds of farmers, reestablished hundreds of farms and planted well over 4 million trees of various varieties. If it had not been for the security situation that began to develop in 2009, we would still be on the ground assisting the agricultural sector of Afghan society, which was, and is, the driver of the Afghan economy.
I am sending to you a message that we are disseminating far and wide. I am doing this as I take a moment from filing visa applications from well over 25 of our former employees whose lives are in danger having worked for us. It is hard to express the anguish they and their families are going through in a frustrating process with no guarantee that it will help them escape from Taliban oppression.
Dear Friends of the Global Partnership for Afghanistan:
You have no doubt followed the developing tragedies on the streets of Kabul and in Afghan villages and communities where we worked for more than a dozen years. We are writing to enlist your help on behalf of our 300 plus former Afghan staff, their families and other Afghans in urgent need of life-saving assistance. Many of you have asked us how you can help? Here are some ways you can help through advocacy and organizations we have vetted.
Advocacy for More Support for Our Afghan Partners and Women Targets of the Taliban. Most immediately, please call your House and Senate representatives to ask them to require the State Department to streamline the immigration process for the Priority P-2 safe passage admission program to the US. The process is backlogged, overly burdensome, and not responsive to Afghans who worked with NGOs like the Global Partnership for Afghanistan, other international NGOs, the media and the military despite their eligibility for the P-2 program. We don’t know what to tell the families we are trying to help. We need clarity from the US government about the evacuation process.
A letter advocating for needed improvements in the P2 program was recently sent to Secretary Blinken by more than 65 NGOs. But Congress needs to get the same message from constituents. Every call counts. We are told that all calls are logged; emails are not.
Support for In-Country Humanitarian and Evacuation Assistance. We are also working with various organizations that are providing critical humanitarian assistance to at-risk Afghan families in country who have been forced to flee their homes and to those seeking to exit the country. For on-the-ground humanitarian assistance: Aschiana Foundation: emergency food and necessities for children and their families. Women for Afghan Women: Shelter, resources, and care for Afghan women and their families; Madre, For support for emergency evacuations, emergency housing and resettlement, visa applications and other emerging priorities: Georgetown Institute for Peace and Security/Vital Voices Emergency Fund which is described here.
Support for Refugee Resettlement in the US. There are countless communities, local and national organizations, and individuals who support current and anticipated needs for resettling admitted Afghan refugees. You can join find local organizations at this link from the Department of Health and Human Services.
We are receiving updates on the situation daily from government, journalist. military, NGO and on-the-ground Afghan contacts and will keep you informed as we learn additional information on how best to assist the Afghan people.
With heartfelt thanks and appreciation,
Bruce and Dana Freyer