In this January 2021 file photo, Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox speaks at the Utah State Capitol on January 8, 2021, Salt Lake City, Utah | Associated Press file photo by Jeffrey D. Allred / Deseret News, St. George News
ST. GEORGE – In a press release on Tuesday, Governor Spencer Cox, along with officials from Zions Bank, the World Trade Center Utah, the Utah Refugee Resettlement Network, and the Afghan community, announced the launch of the Afghan Community Fund. The fund will allow Utah to be ready to welcome and support 765 new Afghan arrivals over the coming months.
“So many generous and caring Utahns have expressed a desire to help, and our state has always stepped up during national emergencies,” Cox said in the press release. “This fund will help us provide essential assistance to our Afghan friends and neighbors who have been forced to flee their country and start over. “
The Afghan Community Fund is a public-private partnership that will support community, medical, food, household and other basic necessities for arrivals where public funding is insufficient.
Following the #OneUtah approach, the Governor’s Refugee Advisory Council, chaired by the Refugee Services Office– created the fund to align the efforts of the two resettlement agencies, International Rescue Committee and Catholic Community Services, and other partners, such as the Utah Muslim Civic League. It is estimated that $ 1 million is needed to meet the needs of resettlement agencies, the community and others not covered by federal funds.
The Zions Bank and the Semnani Family Foundation each contributed $ 100,000 to the fund. The Sterling Family Foundation has donated $ 75,000, bringing the total raised so far to $ 275,000, in addition to Steve Price’s generous in-kind donations with Price Realty Group.
Utah expects to resettle 765 incoming Afghans over the next few months, the statement said. Majority of Afghans arriving in Utah have been granted humanitarian parole (temporary asylum due to their vulnerabilities) to enter the United States due to threats to their security.
They are currently in several military bases and undergo extensive medical and security checks, preparing for relocation. The United States Congress recently passed a continuing resolution that extends refugee benefits to humanitarian parolees, including food aid and housing. These Afghans will be able to work in Utah.
You will find more information about the Afghan Community Fund in line.
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