Enhanced Services to Help Afghan
Evacuees Acclimate to Life in NY
Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that $2 million in additional state funding will be provided to help Afghan evacuees acclimate to life in New York, bringing the total state commitment to $5 million. This is the first gubernatorial commitment of such funds in New York State.
“For generations, immigrants have come to New York and the U.S. seeking freedom and opportunity—their contributions defining and strengthening the fabric of our state and nation,” Governor Hochul said. “With Afghan evacuees fleeing widespread instability in their own country, New York State is proud to take a leading role in the massive resettlement effort, and with this historic, first-of-its-kind investment, we will connect people with the support they need to flourish in their new home. I also thank President Biden and Governor Markell for their efforts welcoming our friends and allies to our shores.”
The funds will be administered through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s (OTDA) New York State Enhanced Services to Refugees Program (NYSESRP), and award letters will be issued within one week of the announcement. The funds will be distributed to more than one dozen nonprofit partners throughout the state that are providing intensive assistance to 1,790 Afghan evacuees that since September and continuing over the coming months have arrived or will arrive in New York State. Approximately 250 evacuees are scheduled to arrive in Albany, 495 in Buffalo, 190 in the New York City area, 50 in Niagara Falls, 275 in Rochester, 10 in Rockville Center, 420 in Syracuse, 50 in Utica, and 50 in Yonkers. Governor Hochul made the announcement while delivering virtual remarks on Afghan Resettlement efforts with White House Coordinator for ‘Operation Allies Welcome’ Jack Markell and Bard College President Leon Botstein.
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) New York Director Alla Shagalova said, “We at HIAS are delighted that Afghan evacuees will be included in the New York State Enhanced Services to Refugees Program, and very grateful to have these resources to help them start their new lives in the great state of New York.”