The government has set up a working group to facilitate travel and entry by Afghan citizens employed by the Asia Foundation to the Kingdom along with their families on a temporary basis.
The working group has 13 members and is chaired by Sok Phal, secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior. Kirth Chantharith, director-general of the General Department of Immigration (GDI), is the permanent deputy chair.
Prime Minister Hun Sen signed a directive on November 17 stating that the working group is responsible for facilitating the temporary residency of Afghans in Cambodia for humanitarian reasons in accordance with the Immigration Law and with the Cambodian government’s decision-making principles while observing the implementation of Covid-19 preventive measures.
Hun Sen also assigned the working group to coordinate with the Asia Foundation in Cambodia and other relevant institutions to find suitable accommodations and arrange transport to the Kingdom through an airline as well as arrange transportation from the airport to the accommodations and vice versa when they depart the country.
The working group will assign officers from the National Police to guard these guests' accommodations and provide security for them during their stay in Cambodia. They will also work with the Asia Foundation on introducing the Afghan visitors to Cambodian culture, traditions and other information related to life in the country for the duration of their stay here.
Furthermore, the working group will help with conducting interviews to find suitable destinations in third-party countries where the Afghans can settle permanently, with interior minister Sar Kheng supervising this aspect of their work while they apply for asylum in a third country with more resources to help them over the long term than Cambodia can provide.
Local online media outlet Fresh News reported on November 17 that at least 15 Afghan refugees who work for the Asia Foundation would be arriving in Cambodia along with their families that day.
Fresh News quoted an unnamed senior interior ministry official as saying that “the government has prepared temporary accommodations for the Afghan refugees but ultimately they will likely be granted asylum by a third country".