Iceland to Receive Additional Refugees from Afghanistan Skip to content

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Photo: Páll Stefánsson. Newly-arrived Syrian refugee families are welcomed by the president at his official home Bessastaðir (2017).

Iceland to Receive Additional Refugees from Afghanistan

Iceland’s cabinet approved a motion this morning to receive an additional 35-70 people from Afghanistan due to the current situation in the country following its takeover by the Taliban. Iceland received a group of refugees from the country last autumn. A notice from the government states that living conditions in the Middle Eastern country have been deteriorating rapidly in recent months and the government considers it urgent to take further action. Single women in a vulnerable position who have close ties to Iceland, as well as their children, will be prioritised.

“Due to unrest and disintegration following the Taliban’s takeover, the government agreed at its meeting on August 24, 2021 to assistant and receive a specified group of Afghans with ties to Iceland,” the notice reads. “At the suggestion of the Refugee Committee, special emphasis was placed on individuals who worked with or for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, former students at the International School for Gender Equality in Iceland (GRÓ-GEST) and individuals who were entitled to family reunification or whose residence permit had already been approved.” 

The government estimated this first group would amount to between 90 and 120 people, but a total of 78 came to the country last autumn via the initiative. One family of five did not accept the invitation to move to Iceland, while 40 others received permits to stay in other countries. The exact number of refugees that is to be received in this new initiative will depend on family composition.

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