The connected communities of Multicultural New Zealand (MNZ) are concerned with the evolving situation in Afghanistan.
MNZ conducted a Zoom meeting of multicultural community leaders last evening that was attended by members of the Afghan community and leaders of various community groups.
“We expect the New Zealand government to proactively initiate humanitarian action. There is an immediate need for creating a Green Zone in Afghanistan and for extending the deadline of 31 August 2021,” Pancha Narayanan, President of MNZ says.
“Feedback from the communities is that there is every indication that evacuation efforts cannot be concluded within this tight timeframe. Afghan community members fear for the lives of their loved ones during this time of extraordinary emergency” he added.
“MNZ is working with the local Afghan community for a community-led approach to support families and individuals around NZ through our Regional Multicultural Councils.
“Two phone lines, one each in Pashto and Dari language for on the ground guidance and support are being set-up.
“We ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Immigration New Zealand and American embassy to impress upon the US government to extend the deadline of 31 August 2021. This extension is vital to prevent a humanitarian disaster.
“We urge the NZ Government to undertake every action to ensure that people who supported us are supported now in their time of need. This must include a longer-term strategy to receive refugees from Afghanistan for resettlement here in New Zealand,” Pancha Narayanan concluded.