A group of 67 Afghan citizens, employees of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as well as their family members, arrived at the Skopje International Airport on Sunday.
Continuing its active role as a solidarity country, North Macedonia provided them with a temporary stay until leaving for a third country. This is part of an international operation to help a democratic Afghan population at risk from the Taliban.
After landing, the standard procedure with security check and protection and PCR test was performed. The civilians will be temporarily housed in Skopje, and international organisations will fully cover the costs.
There are currently 579 Afghan citizens residing in North Macedonia to whom the institutions provide the necessary support and assistance. So far, 141 civilians have left the country, to whom several countries around the world have provided permanent residence.
Albania is currently hosting several thousand Afghan refugees in hotels in Lezhe and Durres. Some have moved on but many remain amid reports they are being left in limbo by slow US bureaucracy. Some reported to Exit that they have not even received a case number, four months after being evacuated from Kabul. This is leading to depression amongst some of the refugees, they said.