Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama launched multiple initiatives on Tuesday to aid incoming Afghan refugees.
Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama are honorary co-chairs of the Welcome U.S. group. Several Governors are also part of the group.
A Welcome fund for the refugees that fled Afghanistan was created through GoFundMe. The funds will “provide emergency grants to nonprofit organizations working to address the most urgent needs facing Afghan refugees as they arrive and being new lives in the United States.
The organization’s goal is to raise $2,250,000, according to the group’s GoFundMe profile.
“At the heart of so many faiths is the idea that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us,” the Obama family said. “Many of the refugees fleeing Afghanistan stood by America and risked everything for a chance at a better life. Many women and girls, in particular, were at risk of losing their basic human rights and are just looking for a chance to live, work, and raise their families free from fear. Through Welcome.US, we can welcome and support out new Afghan neighbors and reaffirm our common humanity.”
The Welcome.US group was created for “all Americans to welcome and support refugees, beginning with the individuals and families who fled Afghanistan.”
Over the next several weeks more than 60,000 Afghans are expected to relocate to the United States. 17% of Afghan interpreters that aided the United States in Afghanistan and their families have arrived —those that have received their citizenship can go to their respective homes without military clearance.
“Thousands of Afghans stood with us on the front lines to push for a safer world, and now they need our help,” the Bush family said. “We are proud to support WelcomeUS and the work to help Afghan families get settled and build new lives. We stand ready to show out new Afghan neighbors and the rest of the world how a welcoming and generous spirit forms the backbone of what makes out country so great.”
The Afghan refugees that have not arrived in the United States will need medical clearance, including a COVID-19 vaccine before proceeding.
In August the United States military and its allies set up a massive evacuation, helping more than 120,000 people leave the country. All U.S. military personnel were cleared from the region.