WASHINGTON, July 23 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday authorized up to $100 million from an emergency fund to meet “unexpected urgent” refugee needs stemming from the situation in Afghanistan, including for Afghan special immigration visa applicants, the White House said.
Biden also authorized the release of $200 million in services and articles from the inventories of U.S. government agencies to meet the same needs, the White House said.
The United States is preparing to begin evacuating thousands of Afghan applicants for special immigration visas (SIVs) who risk retaliation from Taliban insurgents because they worked for the U.S. government.
The first batch of evacuees and their families is expected to be flown before the end of the month to Fort Lee, a U.S. military base in Virginia, where they will wait for the final processing of their visa applications.
About 2,500 Afghans could be brought to the facility, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Richmond, the Pentagon said on Monday.
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