The Biden administration plans to request funds from Congress to bring some 95,000 Afghans to the United States and help resettle them, a sign of both U.S. commitments to allies and the likelihood that efforts to evacuate them will drag on for months.
Biden requests funding to help bring 95,000 Afghans to U.S.
The White House is asking for $6.4 billion through a continuing resolution to fund ongoing efforts to get allies and other vulnerable Afghans out of the country.
A senior administration official said those funds would be used to help bring 65,000 Afghans to the United States by the end of September, as well as another 30,000 who could arrive over the next year.
The funds indicate that so-called water lily sites, overseas bases used to house evacuated Afghans while they await vetting to enter the U.S., will be operational for months.
The funding request includes $2.4 billion for the bases and Defense Department personnel, while $1.3 billion would go to the State Department for its resettlement efforts.
As of last week, there were nearly 40,000 Afghan evacuees waiting overseas to enter the United States. Those in Qatar have complained about the extreme heat, as well as the limited number of toilets.
“The heat is killing me and the toilet situation is really bad,” he said. “They took us to these camps and we don’t know what’s going to happen next.”
The senior administration official said the funds would also be used to continue to house Afghans arriving in the United States, often at military bases, before they are connected with various resettlement agencies.
The White House request comes as the administration seeks funds to float government operations until Congress concludes its work on the budget.