Richmond Mayor Tom Butt is among over 50 mayors throughout the world calling upon their national governments to “immediately open their doors to Afghan refugees” and to encourage governments and donors to provide resources to facilitate resettlement at the local level.
The statement organized by the Mayors Migration Council was signed by a dozen U.S. mayors and others from Canada, Europe, South America, Africa, Australia and South Asia.
“We are deeply saddened by the situation in Afghanistan, which exacerbates one of the world’s longest standing humanitarian and displacement crises,” the coalition of mayors said in the statement, which noted that 300,000 Afghans have fled their homes in search of safe havens or a way out in the last two months. “They join six million Afghan refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) already forced to move by decades of conflict and with little hope for return.”
The mayors say they “stand ready to immediately welcome Afghan refugees in our communities.”
“We call on our national governments and the international community to urgently work with the global network of city leaders and civil society to expand pathways and provide humanitarian support now,” they said.
Read the full statement is here.
The statement comes on a deadly day in Kabul, where terrorist bombings outside of an airport killed a dozen U.S. service members and dozens of others. The attacks occurred amid mass evacuations since the country’s takeover by the Taliban.