Frequent flyer miles donated over a two-month period will provide around 40,000 flights for Afghan refugees, the Associated Press reported.
The Biden administration is considering doubling the number of miles available to refugees, and around 3,200 flights already covered by the donated miles have allowed Afghan refugees to resettle in communities around the U.S. from temporary housing at military bases, according to the AP. Miles4Migrants organized the donations, and the group has provided aid to refugees using donated airline miles and credit card points since 2016.
“Government resources are limited, and we knew that the American people wanted to support Afghans who were arriving and help them find safe homes,” Miles4Migrants Co-Founder Andy Freedman said, the AP reported. “That’s when we turned to the airlines.”
Airlines and corporations contributed around half of the donations to Miles4Migrants, according to the AP. Some of the donations included flying Afghans from third countries to the U.S. through contracts with the federal government.
United Airlines and American Airlines donated 13,000 flights for Afghan refugees, and companies including Delta, JetBlue, Alaska, Frontier and Air Canada also made contributions, the AP reported. Individuals donated 20,000 flights through airline miles and credit card points.
“It is incredibly inspiring to see the American people and American companies coming together to welcome our new Afghan neighbors in this way,” nonprofit organization Welcome.US CEO Nazanin Ash told the AP.
Miles4Migrants partnered with other nonprofits to help Afghan refugees after the Taliban overthrew Afghanistan’s government in mid-August, the AP reported. The group is working with Welcome.US and others to fund up to 30,000 additional flights so that federal aid can go towards housing and other services for refugees.
Around 53,000 Afghans are living at temporary housing sites at military bases across the U.S. and another 3,700 are expected to arrive in America in the next 10 days, according to the AP. Another 30,000 Afghans are expected to seek refuge in the U.S. in the next year.
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