Anniversary of the fall of Kabul

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15 August 2022

One year on from the fall of Kabul our thoughts are with the people of Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan community in Australia and around the world.

We acknowledge the brave contribution and sacrifices made by more than 39,000 ADF and civilian personnel who conducted or supported operations in Afghanistan over 20 years. 

In this time, Australia contributed to the NATO-led mission towards capacity building in counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, and national security. 

We are proud of their service.

We remember the 41 Australian soldiers who died on operations in Afghanistan and will never forget their ultimate sacrifice.

Some of our people continue to live with lasting physical and mental scars, and tragically we have lost more of our people since they returned home.

The fall of Kabul led to one of Australia’s largest humanitarian evacuations.

Over a nine-day period, officials from the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Home Affairs, along with Australian Border Force and the ADF, worked together to facilitate the safe movement of around 4,100 people out of Kabul on 32 flights. The work to ensure safe departures from Afghanistan continues.

We thank those who worked on the operation, in what was a rapidly evolving and perilous environment.

Many Afghan nationals worked side-by-side with Australians and were vital to supporting Coalition operations in Afghanistan. 

The Albanese Government is committed to standing by those who helped Australia, including by supporting former locally engaged employees to apply for visas and re-settle in Australia.

The Government is considering its response to recommendations from the Senate inquiry into Australia’s engagement in Afghanistan, including in relation to locally engaged employees.

Over the past year, we have seen the deterioration of human rights, a growing humanitarian crisis and ongoing problems with security and governance.

Australia is working with the international community to respond to the humanitarian crisis and alleviate the suffering of Afghans across the country.

Since the fall of Kabul, Australia has committed $141 million to ensure that help reaches those most in need. This includes emergency food supplies, responses to natural disasters, and women’s access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.

The one-year anniversary will be a sad day for the Afghan community here in Australia. Many remain fearful for the safety of their loved ones.

Australia will offer 31,500 places to Afghan nationals under the Humanitarian Program and the Family stream of the Migration Program over four years and Afghan citizens continue to be prioritised for processing within Australia’s Humanitarian Program.

We will mark this anniversary formally when Parliament next sits.

 

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