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Local organizations looking to raise $750,000 to support 350 Afghan evacuees coming to Buffalo

Posted at 11:09 AM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 15:31:38-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Local organizations are looking to raise $750,000 to support the 350 Afghan refugees coming to Buffalo.

The Western New York Refugee and Asylee Consortium (WNYRAC) which consists of five organizations - Catholic Charities of Buffalo, International Institute of Buffalo, Jericho Road Community Health Center, Jewish Family Services of Western New York, and Journey’s End Refugee Services - are launching a collaborative campaign "Buffalo United for Afghan Evacuees," to support the evacuees settling in Buffalo while their cases for asylum are decided.

The WNYRAC says unlike refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders from Afghanistan, the evacuees will not have access to services and programs funded by the U.S. government which is why it is organizing the campaign.

The online and in-person community-based campaign will ensure the basic needs of evacuees are met including:

  • Housing
  • Health care and nutrition
  • Enrolling children in school
  • Providing financial assistance until work authorization is granted

"This will ensure that Afghan evacuees have a soft landing in the City of Good Neighbors, while awaiting the outcome of their petitions for permanent resettlement," a release says.

We are at a critical juncture in our country’s history. In this period of crisis for Afghans, both locally and internationally, I am grateful to my colleagues from our partner organizations for recognizing that we are stronger when we work together. Buffalo has a proud history as a welcoming community: businesses, nonprofits, elected officials, neighborhoods, ethnic organizations and individual Buffalonians care for each other every day - not just in snow storms. We call on the community once again to show our newest neighbors - who have already been through experiences we cannot imagine - that the heart and spirit of this community is the generosity of its people. We have deep faith that this community will continue to show refugees and immigrants that Buffalo truly is the City of Good Neighbors.
– Eva Hassett, Executive Director, International Institute of Buffalo

You can find more information here and a website to donate here.