Several families who fled Afghanistan two weeks ago have been released from the Adelaide hotel quarantine and will now receive support to settle into Australian life.
Most important points:
- Two weeks ago, a flight carrying 89 people from Afghanistan arrived in Adelaide
- The people on board have been quarantined for two weeks under Australia’s COVID rules, and some have now left the quarantine
- A spokesman for the Department of Human Affairs said people would receive support, including housing, supplies and English classes
AN rescue flight with 89 people landed in Adelaide two weeks ago after a short stop in Perth to drop off another 48.
The arrivals underwent two weeks of quarantine, as required by Australia’s COVID-19 rules for international travelers, at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in the CBD.
The local Afghan community greeted the new arrivals and many held welcome signs outside the medi hotel, including Mursal Azimi who was there with her daughter.
“We saw some happy smiles and we waved at them,” she said.
“It was great to see them healthy and happy on their new journey in Australia to live their lives in peace.”
Fahim Hashimy, who moved to Australia 11 years ago, said the community was ready to help the families settle into their new home.
“These people are coming out of the chaos… these people have been through a very traumatic period and I think this will be very difficult for these people,” he said.
“I thought I’d just come here and welcome them, welcome them to their new country, their new home, and make sure they were welcome.”
Afghan Society of South Australia president Ghulam Beedar said he was one of the first Afghan families to settle in Adelaide and that he now devotes his time to helping newcomers.
He came to Australia in 1984 when communist Russia took over Afghanistan and forced him to flee the country.
“We are ready to help these newcomers. And if we can do something, we will do it for these people,” he said.
Evacuees receive support and housing
A spokesman for the Department of Human Affairs (DHA) said the arrivals would receive support through the Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP) to “access essential services and integrate into Australian life”.
Through the program, arrivals received regular wellness checks while in quarantine and were given help enrolling in income support and Medicare services.
“Evacuees determined to require ongoing HSP support will be accommodated when they are released from quarantine and transported to suitable short-term accommodation where they will receive an initial set of services, including a food package, service orientation in their local areas and advice on local COVID-19 measures,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesman said eligible evacuees would continue to receive support for up to 18 months.
During that time they are helped to find long-term housing and they receive a package of basic household goods to furnish their new home.
They will also learn English and access employment, education and training services.