Dutch humanitarian activities and aid: Afghanistan
The Netherlands is monitoring the situation in Afghanistan as far as possible, in close collaboration with civil society organisations and like-minded countries. However, the closure of the Dutch embassy in Kabul and inadequate information networks in Afghanistan have made it more difficult to verify the reports we receive.
The Netherlands’ efforts are aimed at the following priorities:
1) facilitating the safe departure of Dutch nationals and residents, and Afghans who are eligible for transfer to the Netherlands;
2) providing aid to the Afghan people;
3) promoting human rights and, in particular, the position of women and girls.
In addition, the Netherlands believes it is important to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a base for international terrorism. The Netherlands is working at both bilateral and multilateral (EU, UN, NATO and anti-ISIS coalition) level to advance these priorities. Besides our diplomatic efforts, the Netherlands is also exploring the options for development cooperation and humanitarian aid that will benefit the Afghan people.
At this time there are no major new refugee flows from Afghanistan to the wider region. Nevertheless, the Netherlands is already preparing for such a scenario. The basic principle from the Netherlands’ perspective is that reception of refugees should take place in the region.
In 2022 the Netherlands is making €20 million available for emergency aid to the Afghan people. This direct contribution will be paid to the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund and is in addition to the Netherlands’ unearmarked contributions to multilateral organisations such as the United Nations. A portion of these unearmarked contributions will be allocated to Afghanistan. The funds will be allocated by the various aid organisations on the basis of where the need is greatest worldwide.
Transfers to the Netherlands
Since the Taliban took control of Kabul, about 3100 people have been brought to the Netherlands. In doing so, the Netherlands mainly made use of flights via Qatar, Pakistan and Iran. Read more about this in the letter to Parliament of 30 March.
The Netherlands is still working actively to bring eligible individuals from Afghanistan to the Netherlands via countries in the region. As the government announced in its letter to parliament of 11 October 2021, individuals (and their immediate family members) from the following groups are eligible for transfer to the Netherlands:
- Dutch nationals and residents
- local embassy employees
- individuals who performed high-profile activities for the Ministry of Defence or EUPOL. This includes:
- people who worked for the Ministry of Defence or the EUPOL police mission in Afghanistan in a publicly visible role.
- people belonging to the target group set out in the motion submitted by MP Salima Belhaj. This includes:
- people who were called up in the context of this motion during the acute evacuation phase but were unable to reach the airport in time;
- employees (nominated by NGOs) of projects financed by Foreign Affairs/Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the area of social progress, peace and security or sustainable development;
- local employees of an EU, UN or NATO mission.
The Netherlands is exploring all possible options to facilitate a safe departure in the current circumstances, and is working actively to bring these individuals to the Netherlands via one of the available routes. To this end the Netherlands is in close contact with other countries in the region. It is also partnering with European and other countries that are working to ensure the safe departure of their nationals and of Afghans who worked for them.
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