Canada marks significant milestone, welcoming over 30,000 vulnerable Afghans

2023 April 13

Ottawa— Communities across Canada continue to welcome Afghans and are helping them settle in to their new homes, as the Government of Canada works toward resettling at least 40,000 Afghan nationals by the end of this year.

Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that Canada has now welcomed over 30,000 Afghan refugees since August 2021. The latest newcomers arrived in Toronto, Ontario, on a charter flight from Pakistan and include Afghans who supported Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, family members of former Afghan interpreters, and privately sponsored refugees arriving through the humanitarian stream. Canada’s humanitarian resettlement program is focused on resettling the most vulnerable Afghans, including woman leaders, human rights defenders, persecuted and religious minorities, 2SLGBTQI+ individuals and journalists.

Today’s new arrivals will settle in communities across Canada, including Surrey (BC), Toronto and London (ON).

The Government of Canada is on track to welcome at least 40,000 Afghans by the end of 2023. However, many Afghans continue to face great risks in attempting to leave Afghanistan or are simply unable to make the journey without assistance. Significant challenges remain, as there is no Canadian diplomatic or military presence in Afghanistan. We are navigating a constantly evolving situation in Afghanistan, where movement continues to be very difficult and dangerous.

It is thanks to continued collaboration with international partners including the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and other countries in the region that so many Afghans have been able to find safety in Canada. The contributions of other international organizations and referral partners including the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Refugee Agency, Frontline Defenders and cannot be understated. In Canada, the significant efforts of provincial and territorial partners, municipalities, resettlement service providers and thousands of Canadians have made this achievement possible.

Photos of today’s arrival are available in Dropbox for use by the media. You can also monitor Canada’s progress on welcoming Afghan refugees to Canada.