CV NEWS FEED // The Biden administration reportedly blocked private flights from evacuating U.S. citizens and Visa-holders stranded in Afghanistan after the chaotic withdrawal, but one organization reports why its contacts on the ground still have hope.
Several aid organizations have reported that the State Department obstructed their rescue efforts. Americans involved in private rescue efforts told Fox News last month that the State Department was “the sole entity preventing their charter flights from leaving Afghanistan.”
“If one life is lost as a result of this, the blood is on the White House’s hands,” said one. The same individual said that the State Department’s obstructions were motivated partly by a desire to save face as the Biden administration abandoned American citizens and others who helped the U.S. — who are known targets of the Taliban.
Jason Jones, president of the Vulnerable People Project (VPP), told CatholicVote Monday that his team began to experience the State Departments obstructions early on in VPP’s efforts, which began August 13.
“We shifted on a dime when we saw the State Department sending Christians home at the airport,” said Jones.
The violence, suicide bombing, and gunfire that took place at the airport was another factor. “One of the families we were working to evacuate had a son who was shot in the stomach just steps from the gate in the middle of the chaos of the American evacuation,” said Jones.
“We decided it was better for our people to lay low and wait out the storm,” Jones said. “We had to find a new way out for our people.”
A week after the official conclusion of the U.S. withdrawal, VPP is still in close contact with the same core group of target-evacuees.
“We have enough money for over 61 people that we’re trying to get out,” Jones said, adding that the refugees “would be really important to our community as Christians and Catholics.”
“We’ve raised enough money to get them all out, and we’re halfway toward the goal of raising enough for a whole plane.”
Jones confirmed what other aid groups have reported about the State Department. “The Biden administration seems to be a bigger obstacle for us than the Taliban,” He said. “But again, we made the decision before the airport closed that it was just too chaotic anyway.”
“Not only is the State Department not much of a source of hope, it’s no hope at all,” he added. “But that doesn’t mean we don’t have any hope.”
Rather than place its hope in the State Department, VPP is “working with foreign allied nations and different airlines to get people on commercial flights,” Jones said. “It’s a big world, there are lots of people who care.”
For updates on the VPP’s rescue efforts, readers can go to the Vulnerable People Project here.