The ties between Finland and Afghanistan go well over a decade and a half back in time. Finland, currently being served as Sana Marin as the Prime Minister, has been one of the closest friends to Afghanistan during a period political decay and economic turmoil in the Central Asian country.
As a matter of fact, Afghanistan recognizes it’s Nordic ally as its most supported development partner country.
From the onset of 2002, the peak days of the rule of President Hamid Karzai, Finland has been by the side of a troubled nation assisting in divergent spheres such as the stabilisation, reconstruction and development efforts, a process of support, which blossomed well unto 2020, the year of the pandemic.
What one doesn’t note all that well- but ought to- is the very fact that by offering a sum of Euro 28 million, the Finnish support toward Afghanistan peaked from the onset of 2017 until 2020.
Moreover, where present day Afghanistan stands, then it appears that Finland has done its fair deal already toward rescuing several individuals who see little future in a country where the rule of the dreaded Taliban regime is nothing but a travesty of sorts.
But how is that? What is the exact support system being offered by Finland to the beleaguered Afghanistan during the most difficult period in its modern history?
Here’s what one needs to know:
The land of Ice Hockey, Rally Racing and Sauna has decided to grant residence permits to no fewer than 220 Afghan nationals who had been working for the venerable Finnish authorities.
This, however, also includes those nationals who have been working for the NATO and EU due to the crisis back home in Afghanistan.
A state-run chartered flight shall be deployed specifically for the purpose of rescuing the Afghan nationals and shall be safely brought home to Finland.
Furthermore, it’s important to note what Schengenvisainfo.com had to share on this positive development:
This decision was taken in an extraordinary session on August 13, as the underlying assessment is that Afghans and their families may face human rights violations in the future.
According to this decision, 130 people who are or have been employed by the Finnish government, EU institutions, or NATO, can be admitted to Finland, including their families, which are considered the members of the family and adult unmarried children living in the same household.
Furthermore, about 40 people and their families from Afghanistan can also get a residence permit issued by Finland authorities. With this decision, Finland will also allow a maximum of ten persons, including family members, who were previously employed by the Kabul mission and whose employment relationship was still valid on January 1, 2021.
The Finnish government will also permit about 50 people and their families recruited from the European Union Representation in Kabul or the European Union Directorate-General for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) to apply for residence. In addition, Finland may take on a maximum of 30 persons and their families employed by the NATO crisis management operation.
One certainly hopes that those in Finland, now safely evacuated from a troubled Afghanistan can find a new lease of life and get on with their second wind and for those back home to finally find peace in some way or the other.