Two planes with a group of Afghans landed on Friday night at the Poznań airport. 114 people evacuated from Kabul have flown to Poland from the American military base in Ramstein, Germany, and will go to one of the hotels in Poznań. – We are ready to any help that will be expected both from the people who have been evacuated and from the North Atlantic Pact – assured Damian Duda, the head of the Information Policy Department of the Government Center for Security.
On Friday, the head of the prime minister’s office, Michał Dworczyk, announced that, as part of allied solidarity, Poland, as previously agreed, would accept 500 Afghans who cooperated with NATO in Afghanistan. 50 people from this group will stay in Poland, while the rest will go to destination countries within three months. Dworczyk informed that the first group of relocated persons will consist of 284 people.
Relocated Afghans already in Poland
On Saturday after midnight, two LOT airline planes with 114 evacuated Afghans arrived at the Poznań-Ławica airport. The head of the Information Policy Department of the Government Center for Security, Damian Duda, informed that the reduction in the number of the first group of relocated persons was due to formal, legal and logistical reasons. – Formal and legal problems are a bigger problem. Some of these people do not have documents. The issue of legalizing their stay is very important, which is why currently 114 people (have arrived) – he said.
He added that in the first group there is a monthly baby and a woman in the eighth month of pregnancy. – They are under the care of medical staff all the time. Here, they will also be looked after by medical staff. Eight interpreters and two doctors will be waiting for the relocated persons. It will be a woman and a man, and a third doctor, a pediatrician, Afghan of origin – he said.
Duda described that after leaving the planes, the evacuees are directed to tents prepared at the airport by the fire brigade. Warm meals and basic necessities, such as baby diapers, were prepared for the newcomers. – Upon arrival, all persons will undergo a medical examination. Of course, each person will be checked for the presence of coronavirus, he said.
“These people are constantly targeted by the Taliban”
After completing all the formalities, the Afghans will be taken to one of the hotels in the center of Poznań, which served as an isolation room during the COVID-19 pandemic. Relocated people will be in a ten-day quarantine there. Duda assured that the operation to accept Afghans was properly planned. – The hotel staff has already been trained in the cultural code. They are prepared to deal with people from that particular circle. They will be relocated all the time under the care of doctors. There will be a psychologist on site so that they can do this isolation in a calm and relatively comfortable way. The hotel is a facility of a good standard – he emphasized.
When asked how 50 people who will be able to stay in Poland will be selected, he said that according to the assumptions, even if the number of applicants is greater, “as a country we are able to secure more of these places according to current needs”. – This is a conventional number. We are ready to any help that will be expected both from the people who have been evacuated and from the North Atlantic Pact – he said.
He noted that Afghans would be able to leave the hotel after 10 days and move freely. – We have prepared, in cooperation with non-governmental organizations, appropriate activities, adequate protection of free time, so that these people feel as comfortable and comfortable in our country as possible – he emphasized.
He appealed to the media and the residents of Poznań not to publish the image of the Afghans who came for security reasons. – We must be aware that these people are constantly targeted by the Taliban. Some of them left their families in the country, he emphasized.
When the next relocated people arrive
When asked when and how many more relocated Afghans would arrive in Poland, he said that an appropriate consular team was working on this matter, and that subsequent arrivals and the number of relocated groups were dependent on formal and legal matters. – We must take into account that these people were very often evacuated in circumstances where identification formalities could not be completed, where some families did not have full documentation – he emphasized.
He added that NATO did not impose any time limits on Poland for transporting the remaining evacuees to our country, and further arrivals are being prepared.
Main photo source: PAP / Jakub Kaczmarczyk