Daily Review: Afghan Refugees in Limbo

Daily Review: Afghan Refugees in Limbo
Afghan refugees hold placards during a gathering in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 21, 2023 (AP photo by Rahmat Gul).

Hello, everyone. Today at WPR, we’re covering the bureaucratic limbo facing Afghan refugees in the United States.

Now, here’s our take on today’s top story:

Ukraine funding: Fractious disagreements between member states are holding up the EU’s latest round of funding to shore up support for Ukraine. Brussels has requested €86 billion in additional funding to stretch over four years. (Financial Times)

Our Take: The latest budget battle in the EU marks a key test in the West’s continued support for Ukraine a year and a half after Russia’s invasion. In this case, disagreements stem from two major issues:

  • Brussels’ funding request ties support for Ukraine to other provisions related to easing strains on the EU budget. Countries like Germany and the Netherlands have opposed bundling the two, arguing that strained national budgets led to belt-tightening and the same should happen in Brussels.
  • Ukraine’s counteroffensive that began in June has so far been largely underwhelming, with Kyiv making only limited gains this summer. Policymakers who were already war skeptics have pointed to those results as an argument for limiting financial support for Ukraine going forward.

Brexit: The British government said on Tuesday it will delay imposing full post-Brexit import controls on goods from the EU by another three months, pushing the start date back to January 2024. (Reuters)

Our Take: More than two and a half years after the U.K.’s conservative government “got Brexit done,” the country is continuing to deal with the predictable—and predicted—disruptions it has caused to Britain’s economy. 

Brussels immediately implemented their side of the deal in 2021, which led to delays and higher costs for British businesses. As a result, the U.K. has repeatedly postponed full implementation of border controls due to worries that it would exacerbate those issues and add to an ongoing cost-of-living crisis in the country.

More context from WPR:

After the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Afghan refugees are now stuck in limbo.

Two Years After US Withdrawal, Afghan Refugees Are Still in Limbo

In the two years since U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan, approximately 90,000 Afghans have made it to the United States. Compared to many Afghans who remained behind, these escapees were the lucky ones. 

And yet, even these Afghans—the luckiest of American asylum-seekers other than Ukrainians—were offered only a temporary solution rather than a permanent path to citizenship. As columnist Charli Carpenter writes, they are now facing bureaucratic obstacles, uncertain futures and even the possibility of being returned to Afghanistan. 

Question of the Day: Who won Guatemala’s presidential runoff election on Aug. 20?

Find the answer in the latest WPR Weekly Quiz, then read James Bosworth’s column on the challenges that lie ahead for the president-elect.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has accused the M23 rebel group of delaying voter registration in eastern Congo ahead of December general elections. The registration process ended in April, but officials have been blocked from entering rebel territory to finalize it.

After having been dormant for nearly a decade, M23 reemerged in early 2022. Nearly 1 million people in eastern Congo have been displaced since then, creating a humanitarian crisis. To make matters worse, both Congo’s government and U.N. experts say neighboring Rwanda has backed the insurgency, raising thorny questions about regional stability.

Sophie Neiman broke down the crisis last month:

The March 23 Movement, or M23, have been very active in Congo, fueling a crisis and conflict.

The M23 Conflict Is Creating a Humanitarian Nightmare in Eastern Congo

July 27, 2023 | The Central African Republic’s president has secured a referendum on constitutional reform that would allow him to run for a third term. Read more.

That’s all for today’s Daily Review.

Have a great day,

Jakob Cansler

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