Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

The Afghan refugee crisis is about to get much worse

Tens of thousands of Afghan refugees will soon need to find new homes, and many countries are preemptively closing their doors.

Why it matters: The U.S. is leading what the White House calls one of the biggest airlift in history as Afghans flee from Taliban rule. That exodus will quickly become a humanitarian crisis involving the U.S., Europe and parts of Asia and the Middle East.

What to watch: The U.S. is preparing to bring in 50,000 Afghan refugees in the next year, Bob Kitchen, vice president of emergencies and humanitarian action at International Rescue Committee (IRC) told Axios.

  • That's more than the total, annual number of refugees the U.S. has resettled from all over the world over the past couple years.
  • IRC is one of the largest resettlement agencies in the U.S., and typically handles 25% of refugee arrivals Kitchen said. "We're now currently staffing up and getting ready to handle the 25% of 50,000 new arrivals."

Several European countries are also flying Afghans out of the country. But there's already concern in the EU about another major wave of migration.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron has said Europe must "protect itself" from an influx of Afghan migrants.
  • Greece has completed a border fence with Turkey, in an effort to deter Afghan migrants.
  • Turkey, which hosts millions of Syrian refugees, has also beefed up its own border security with walls, ditches and barbed wire in the wake of Kabul's fall to the Taliban.
  • Australia has launched a campaign urging Afghans not to attempt to make the dangerous voyage to the country by sea. The country has pledged to take in just 3,000 Afghan refugees.

What to watch: Afghans who don't make the cut to get airlifted out by the U.S. are expected to flee to neighboring countries, including Iran and Pakistan.

  • As of the end of 2020, Pakistan already had 1.4 million Afghan refugees living in the country, according to UN figures. As of this year, Iran had 780,000 Afghan refugees on top of 2.3 million undocumented Afghans.
  • The Taliban have provided conflicting messages about their willingness to allow Afghans to leave, and Pakistan is currently only allowing those with Pakistani visas to cross land borders, Kitchen said.

The big picture: Decades of war created an Afghan refugee crisis long before the U.S. began to withdraw military forces. Millions of people had already fled the country or were displaced within its borders.

  • "The the notion of an Afghan refugee situation is not at all new. It's four decades it has been going on," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees spokesperson Chris Boian told Axios.

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories