MISSOULA - Missoula welcomed about 100 Afghan nationals after U.S. forces left Afghanistan last August.
While the situation in Ukraine is different, the outcome for refugees is the same, and displaced foreign nationals could soon call Montana home.
Entering the second month of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Biden Administration announced on March 24, that the US will aid Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis by welcoming 100,000 Ukrainian nationals.
“My understanding is that they're sort of trying every means necessary to bring in help to bring folks over here,” said International Rescue Committee (IRC) Missoula deputy director Eamon Fahey.
The four main ways that we can see Ukrainians coming to the US are visitor visas, humanitarian parolees, family reunification programs and Ukrainian nationals who were granted refugee status before the war broke out.
“We don't know any details yet in terms of when how many any of those details yet but we are we're preparing for the fact that we likely will have and we were We will, of course look forward to welcoming and those to Missoula,” Fahey told MTN News.
The IRC in Missoula has settled about 135 refugees over the past six months; more than any other year. Fahey said Ukraine and Afghanistan refugees are just two examples of situations that call for fleeing nationals around the world. It's also a reminder that fleeing your home country is more than just finding a safe place.
“From family members to, of course, your home, to your culture, there's great trauma, fear for life, oftentimes it's war," said Fahey. "But there are other reasons this could happen too — famine, natural disaster — that people may need to flee their homes.”
Fahey says that Afghan nationals have adjusted to Montana life well and the best way to help Ukrainian refugees is by making financial donations to aid with housing and other resettlement needs.
People who are looking to help the IRC can do so at https://help.rescue.org/donate/us-missoula-mt