NY coughs up extra $2M to resettle Afghan refugees

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Gov. Kathy Hochul says the state will provide an additional $2 million to nonprofits assisting nearly 2,000 Afghan refugees resettled in New York after the Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal this summer. 

The funding boost will be distributed in the next week to more than 12 nonprofits already assisting 1,790 evacuees living in the Empire State since September or those refugees on track to relocate here within the coming months, the governor said. 

“For generations, immigrants have come to New York and the U.S. seeking freedom and opportunity — their contributions defining and strengthening the fabric of our state and nation,” Hochul said in a statement Monday. 

“With Afghan evacuees fleeing widespread instability in their own country, New York State is proud to take a leading role in the massive resettlement effort, and with this historic, first-of-its-kind investment, we will connect people with the support they need to flourish in their new home.

The financial increase will boost the total program funds to $5 million. The money is distributed through the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s NYS Enhanced Services to Refugees Program.

An Afghan refugee family walks past temporary housing in Liberty Village  on December 2, 2021
An Afghan refugee family walks past temporary housing in Liberty Village on December 2, 2021.
Barbara Davidson-Pool/Getty Images
U.S. Airmen and U.S. Marines guide evacuees aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in support of the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan
US Airmen and US Marines guide evacuees aboard a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in support of the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Senior Airman Brennen Lege/U.S. Air Force via AP

The money will go toward housing, mental health services, job training, English language instruction and other social-service initiatives, state officials said. 

Hochul said the city of Buffalo is on track to accept the largest number of refugees — 496 — within the next few months. Another 275 people are heading to Rochester, 250 to Albany and 190 to New York City. 

The state has previously said it has the capacity to resettle roughly 5,000 people through its network of nonprofits. 

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