Friday 5/20/22
ASYLUM

EU sees surge of asylum seekers from Afghanistan

Substantial increases also occurred for Iraqis, Venezuelans, Pakistanis and Colombians

FILED - 20 August 2021, Brandenburg, Doberlug-Kirchhain: Local forces from Afghanistan walk to their accommodation on the grounds of the DRK Refugee Aid at the Initial Reception Centre in the early morning. About 71,400 applications for asylum were lodged in the European Union and associated countries in November, up by 9 per cent from October and the second-highest level since the refugee crisis of 2016, an EU authority said on Friday. Photo: Patrick Pleul/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa.
People from Afghanistan walk to their accommodation at a reception centre in Germany. Photo: Patrick Pleul/dpa.

About 71,400 applications for asylum were lodged in the European Union and associated countries in November, up by 9 per cent from October and the second-highest level since the refugee crisis of 2016, an EU authority said on Friday.

Afghans made up the largest group with around 13,000 applications - ahead of refugees from Syria with around 11,500, according to the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA).

Some 4,300 people from Iraq applied for protection in November, almost a third more than in October.

Substantial increases also occurred for Venezuelans, Pakistanis and Colombians.

Afghans lodged the second most applications since 2016, only exceeded by the recent peak in September, just after the Taliban seized power.

The chaotic withdrawal of the US and its allies in August triggered an exodus as people sought to flee, fearful of repression and reprisals. Since then, the Afghan economy has collapsed and millions have been displaced. 

Unaccompanied minors

Of those applying for asylum in November, 5 per cent were unaccompanied minors, with half of this group from Afghanistan, the EUAA said.

There remains a significant gap between the number of applications and the number of cases processed, with 431,000 cases still waiting for an initial decision by the end of November.

Some three out of four applications were approved, but the figure varies, with 92 per cent of Afghans receiving an approval.

The EUAA covers the 27 EU member states plus Norway and Switzerland.

EU sees surge of asylum seekers from Afghanistan
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