Plight of exhausted Afghans arriving in Spain revealed

Scotland commits humanitarian funds to Afghanistan.

The plight of Afghans arriving in Spain has been revealed in a moving article by Spanish newspaper ABC.

“They come out without shoes or insulin. They arrive exhausted, dizzy and vomiting. And, above all, stressed.”

Raquel Fernandez Gibaja is part of the Red Cross’s Refugee Programme meeting Afghans as they arrive at the Torrejon Airbase near Madrid.

She described to ABC the human toll the evacuation process from Kabul is taking on Afghans.

They show signs of “infinite fatigue, a lot of stress. Perhaps it is because of that now, and with masks, we pay more attention to the eyes, but those looks.”

“In the case of the resettled Syrians, we noticed that they had had time to digest the departure from their country, at least somewhat; these people arrive leaving their life behind overnight. The flight from Afghanistan is at full speed. They leave without suitcases, they ask for shoes for the child or insulin for the diabetic child who has travelled without it,” she said.

The refugees are desperately worried about family left behind in Afghanistan and when they arrive in Spain, they rush to make phone calls.

“The situations are extreme. There are people who have hopefully been able to collect all their members, including brothers and brothers-in-law, while others have left a child alone in Kabul. They arrive, therefore, absolutely devastated.”

For children, the Red Cross has set up an area with toys. “Some of them start running with energy and you don’t know where they get it from and others are dead tired. Children always have an incredible ability to excel, they are the most resilient. Instead, you see that the adults have landed only physically, not emotionally,” she added.


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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