The city government of Berlin is planning to take in 500 refugees from Afghanistan over the next five years. People who are in particular need of protection will be prioritized under the initiative.
Berlin's senate on Tuesday decided that 100 Afghans classified as particularly vulnerable by the UN refugee agency UNHCR will be taken in annually for the next five years using a state reception program. According to the AFP news agency, these will include Afghan opposition figures and human rights activists still living under Taliban rule in the country or in neighboring countries.
According to the senate, this state program will be aimed at people who have not yet received an acceptance letter or other form of commitment from Germany’s federal government.
More family reunifications to be allowed
The senate also decided that it would introduce extended admission rules for relatives of Afghan refugees already living in Berlin for "humanitarian reasons."
Currently, federal German law only allows family reunifications with immediate family members such as spouses and children when people have successfully been granted protection; however, Berlin has already issued exemptions for the relatives of refugees from Syria and Iraq, and will now extend the same rules to Afghans.