Australia to take in 16,500 more refugees from Afghanistan

The Australian government has announced it will take in an additional 16,500 Afghan refugees.

This is in addition to it’s official humanitarian program which stands at 13,750 places a year, Australia’s ABC reported Wednesday.

Paul Power, the chief executive of the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), said: “It’s going to make an enormous difference to people who are seeking safety in Australia.”

The Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke, said the commitment — which will cost the budget just under $666 million over the next four years — was “in recognition of our sustained commitment following Australia’s two decades of operations in Afghanistan”.

Since the fall of the previous government in Kabul, the Australian government has received more than 32,500 applications for the humanitarian program from Afghan nationals, on behalf of more than 145,000 individuals.