US military bases that housed Afghan evacuees suffered $260 million in damage
A new Department of Defense (DOD) The report revealed that US military bases that housed Afghan evacuees suffered $260 million in damage, with the Air Force saying the damage was “irreparable”.
The DOD Inspector General reported last week that the eight bases housing the refugees in Texas, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Virginia, New Mexico and Indiana are seeking repairs after suffering more than a quarter of billion dollars in damage.
In 17 days, 120,000 evacuees were taken to the United States amid the deadly and botched withdrawal that saw Afghanistan fall under Taliban control.
NEW MODEL FOR ENROLLING REGULAR AMERICANS TO RESETTLE REFUGEES
“A description of the damage by Air Force officials explained that the damage caused by the guests was irreparable,” the Pentagon report said.
“Air Force officials described tables, chairs, and beds broken by guests and tents and beds destroyed by spray paint, human biological material, and holes,” he keeps on.
“The Air Force has described the materials as ‘completely depleted, so no materials remain available for other real-world missions,'” he adds.
Some of the damage to the buildings rendered them unusable for the army until the plumbing and walls were repaired.
“DoD facilities reported that facilities and equipment were overused, damaged, and remained in varying degrees of disrepair, resulting in costly maintenance effort,” the report said.
“DoD facilities must restore their facilities and equipment to a condition that allows them to conduct training, prepare for future events, and resume normal base operations,” he continues.
Some bases requested more money from the DOD than others. Fort Bliss in Texas, which housed 11,472 migrants, only asked for more than half a million dollars in repair costs, while Fort McCoy in Wisconsin – which housed roughly the same number of refugees – asked $145.6 million.
The DOD inspector general also raised questions about whether the money was only requested for repairs related to evacuee housing.
In September, amid the systemic shock caused by the large number of people evacuated from Afghanistan to the United States, the US State Department, in conjunction with humanitarian organizations, turned to ordinary Americans to fill the gap. empty. Neighbours, co-workers, faith groups and friends have come together in “sponsorship circles” to help Afghans settle into their communities.
They raised funds and found houses to rent for new arrivals, enrolled their children in schools, taught them how to open bank accounts and located the nearest mosques and shops selling halal meat.
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Now the Biden administration is preparing to turn the experiment into a private sponsorship program for refugees admitted under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and is asking organizations to partner with it to launch a pilot program. by the end of 2022.
The move comes amid mounting pressure on President Joe Biden, who pledged in a 2021 executive order to increase opportunities for Americans to resettle refugees and restore the United States as the world’s safe haven. The Trump administration has decimated the refugee program, which traditionally tasks nine resettlement agencies with placing refugees in communities.
The Associated Press contributed reporting.