Local activists are pushing for more action from the WA Government to provide extra support for recently settled refugees from Afghanistan.
Albany-based journalist Madina Jaffari fled Afghanistan as a child and believes the WA government could do more to help out the local Afghan community.
“Although we’re very appreciative for the Australian Government for evacuating between 3000 and 4000 people out of Afghanistan during these unprecedented times, we also think the Government can do better,” she said.
“We think the Government is in a capacity where it can expedite visa approvals and make necessary policy changes.”
WA Community Services Minister Simone McGurk said additional support would be actioned to help newly settled refugees.
“As part of the welfare response role, staff from the Department of Communities will provide support to evacuees from Afghanistan while they are in hotel quarantine and as they complete their period of isolation,” she said.
But Ms Jaffari said there was more that could be done and implored Australians to show compassion to those seeking help.
“Go easy on those Afghans who cannot provide official identification documents,’’ she said.
‘’Getting one at this time is almost impossible.’’
Ms Jaffari, who has been an activist in this space since she fled the war-torn country, said it was not just about getting people out of Afghanistan but also about the support that should be made available when they enter the local community.
“There are so many Afghans who are on temporary/bridging visas or people who have citizenship issues who aren’t able to sponsor their families who are stuck in Afghanistan,” she said.
“I can only speak for the regional towns here in WA and from what I’ve seen, there isn’t an immigration lawyer or agent available for people to seek help from regarding visa applications, which is their main concern at the moment.”
In a recent WA Government media statement, it was confirmed WA has taken in 95 Afghans following the country’s fall to the Taliban in August.