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Iowa to begin accepting Afghan refugees

About 350 Afghan refugees will resettle soon within Iowa, officials anticipate.

Updated: September 21, 2021 - 1:31pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

About 350 Afghan refugees will resettle soon within Iowa, officials anticipate.

"Right now, the resettlement agencies working in Iowa believe we have capacity to help resettle approximately 350 Afghans in addition to our normal resettlement programs,” U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Des Moines Field Office Director Kerri True-Funk said in a joint statement.

The state and federal official said the number was "current capacity" but the situation "could change on the longer term."

They also said the 3560 was  decided upon in consultation with the Bureau of Refugee Services, a part of the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Most Afghan families will likely settle around “the larger population centers,” such as Des Moines and near Iowa City, where there are already small communities of resettled immigrants with such conveniences and necessities as mosques and Halal grocery stores

The Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration funding will support the resettlement, she said.

This money will more specifically will go toward helping secure housing and other necessities and to help support case management services,” officials said.

The Associated Press reported that each Afghan refugee is "slated" to receive $1,225 a month for rent, food and other expenses.

Resettlement efforts are also getting the benefit – for now – of overwhelming public support, with multiple donation drives having collected household supplies and other necesseties.

Still, the families will need help with food and household goods until they are able to begin working, according to officials. They say gift cards for groceries and household goods for such stores as Walmart and Walgreens for medical supplies will be helpful.