A charter flight from Pakistan arrived in Winnipeg on Friday morning carrying 324 Afghan refugees who are set to resettle in Canada after the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan last summer.
The charter is part of the federal government’s commitment to resettle 40,000 Afghans in Canada. So far, about 17,600 Afghans have been welcomed to Canada through a humanitarian program and a special immigration program for Afghans who have assisted the government.
Sayed Mohammad, who is from Afghanistan, spent the past 10 months in Islamabad, Pakistan, before arriving on the charter with his wife and two children.
Her two-year-old son Sayed Inaam waved a mini Canadian flag outside James Richardson International Airport as the family waited to board a bus to a Winnipeg hotel before continuing their journey. travel.
“I feel so happy to have arrived in Canada,” said Mohammad. “My final destination is Toronto.”
Boris Ntambwe, head of resettlement and accommodation for Accueil francophone, organizes support in Manitoba for newly arrived refugees.
He said the flight landed around 7 a.m. People have traveled about 20 hours and are now receiving help in Winnipeg to adjust to life in Canada.
“Everything went according to plan. And we are so happy to see everyone leaving excited, healthy and happy,” Ntambwe said. “This is our first charter flight bringing Afghans. having this as our first experience. So far so good.”
Of the 324 refugees who arrived on the flight, Ntambwe said 115 will remain in Manitoba – 53 people in Winnipeg, 50 in Brandon, Man. and 12 in Winkler, Man. — while several others will now go elsewhere in Canada.
“We have people going all over the country,” Ntambwe said, noting that the refugees will go to Vancouver, Montreal, Saskatoon and Alberta among other places. “The next phase will be to get all domestic flights.”
This is a developing story more details to come.