.
.
.
.

Traumatized and anxious, Afghans evacuees begin life in Australia

Published: Updated:

After evacuating Afghanistan, the first of about 3,500 people - mostly women and children - have left Australia’s mandatory hotel quarantine. They are grateful for their escape but worry about those left behind, an aid worker said on Friday.

International airlifts began on August 14, when the Taliban arrived in Kabul. As part of that effort, Australia evacuated 4,100 citizens and Afghans with visas, although some dual citizens chose to go elsewhere.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The first of the Afghan refugees are now beginning life in Australia. Assadullah Khurrami, a team leader at the Red Cross Humanitarian Settlement Program, said many carry deep scars.

“We have seen a few children who have come with heavy trauma,” Khurrami said. “The evacuees are very grateful... but at the same time there is a lot of desperation, a lot of sadness in these families, in these individuals, because they still have loved ones and family members left in Afghanistan.”

Khurrami - who fled Afghanistan in 2010 after working as an interpreter for the United Nations and allied forces in Afghanistan and came to Australia as a refugee - said the Western Australia community has offered aid.

“There are a lot of people in here who have offered to provide accommodation, provide material goods, provide psychosocial support, provide welcome meals,” Khurrami said.

Australia was part of a NATO-led international force that trained Afghan security forces and fought the Taliban for 20 years after Western forces expelled them from power in 2001.

Read more:

US Secretary says Taliban blocking flights of Americans, at-risk Afghans from leaving

EU preparing for Afghans already abroad to try to reach Europe

Qatar awards scholarship to Afghanistan’s girls robotics team