Dutch gov't ignored Red Cross offer of help in Afghanistan
The Red Cross offered to help in Afghanistan when evacuations collapsed at the end of August, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ignored this offer. The Red Cross wanted to set up helplines, offer psychological assistance to those left behind, and help reunite families who lost each other during the flight, the Volkskrant reported.
The Dutch Red Cross made a "general offer" for the Ministry to use the knowledge and expertise available in the organization, a Red Cross spokesperson said to the newspaper. But so far, the Ministry has not accepted the offer.
In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it has its own people for psychological support for its staff, including local staff at the embassy in Kabul. "We paid a lot of attention to that because many employees were confronted with challenging circumstances."
The poor organization and slow pace of evacuations from Afghanistan after the country fell to the Taliban in mid-August led to the resignation of caretaker Ministers Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Affairs and Ank Bijleveld of Defense. Parliament criticized them for ignoring signals about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and not starting the evacuations sooner, resulting in many people not getting evacuated in time.
Since the fall of Kabul, the Netherlands brought at least 1,897 people from Afghanistan to the Netherlands - primarily Dutch people, as well as Afghan people who worked for the Netherlands in some way, and UN employees.
On Tuesday evening, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that 58 Afghans who qualify for asylum in the Netherlands managed to flee to Pakistan by land. The Dutch embassy helped them cross the border into Pakistan "and assisted them remotely on their departure from Afghanistan." They will be brought to the Netherlands "soon," the Ministry said.