Nearly half of the 53,000 Afghan refugees brought to the United States are children, according to a Pentagon letter.
The letter revealed that approximately 22% of the Afghan evacuees at U.S. military bases are female adults and 34% are male adults, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. It did not specify how the number of children unaccompanied by adults.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wrote the letter in an Oct. 8 response to questions from Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe, who serves as part of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the WSJ reported.
Pentagon officials revealed that 105,400 (85%) of the 124,000 evacuated during the U.S. exit from Kabul in August were Afghans, the WSJ reported. The letter did not provide further information regarding the evacuees, leaving questions about gender, nationality and immigration status relatively unanswered. (RELATED: Tens Of Thousands Of Afghan Refugees Set To Be Released In The US Without Set Immigration Status)
Over 40% of Afghan refugees housed temporarily at eight US military bases are children, according to a letter from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to Sen. James Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. https://t.co/hpdwvACRZr
— CNN International (@cnni) October 20, 2021
Austin did share in the letter that the U.S. rescued “thousands of third-country nationals and Afghan civilians” and “tens of thousands of allies and partners,” the WSJ reported.
Nine of Austin’s answers to the questions remain classified, according to the WSJ.
“I’m glad we finally have some of the answers my colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee and I have been asking, about who we evacuated and how the Department of Defense is supporting these evacuees,” Sen. Inhofe told the WSJ. “It’s clear the Department faces challenges ahead in this regard, and I intend to watch this process closely.”
About 53,000 Afghan refugees are currently living on eight military bases across the United States. Nearly 6,000 Afghan refugees have been resettled in American communities, according to the WSJ.
The short-term funding bill passed by Congress last month to avoid shutdown includes $6.3 billion in resettlement efforts, providing refugees access to healthcare, as well as financial assistance with rent, food and education, the WSJ reported.
The Biden administration announced earlier this month 125,000 Afghan refugees will be granted admission to the US during the 2022 fiscal year, according to a White House release.