Over the past several weeks, the State Department has seen an enormous outpouring of commitments from the private sector and other non-governmental actors to support the arrival of Afghans in the United States as part of Operation Allies Welcome. To mobilize and channel this wellspring of support, on September 3, I issued a call to action on behalf of the Department to companies and other organizations that wish to help Afghans starting new lives in the United States.
The State Department is partnering with Welcome.US, a non-profit, non-partisan initiative of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), to galvanize additional private sector support and resources for arriving Afghans and harness the goodwill of the American people, building on our country’s cherished tradition of private philanthropy contributing to the public good.
Welcome.US launched Tuesday, September 14 with more than 250 NGOs, businesses, and leaders of diverse faiths, politics, and backgrounds as part of its fast-growing coalition, with President and Mrs. Obama, President and Mrs. Bush, and President and Secretary Clinton as honorary co-chairs. This initiative aims to catalyze support from Americans from all walks of life to support newly arriving Afghans, engaging a range of private sector actors including companies, non-profit organizations, resettlement agencies, Afghan-American organizations and leaders, faith-based communities, refugees, community sponsorship groups, veterans, universities, governors and mayors, and many others.
The generosity displayed by the American people in welcoming newly arrived Afghans as part of Operation Allies Welcome has been nothing short of remarkable and is a clear demonstration of our values as a nation of immigrants that welcomes refugees and vulnerable populations from across the world. The State Department applauds the launch of Welcome.US and looks forward to our ongoing collaboration and discussions with leaders across sectors to mobilize support to meet the needs of these arriving Afghans as they write a new chapter of the American experience. On all of these efforts, we will continue our close coordination with White House Coordinator for Operation Allies Welcome Jack Markell and our interagency partners, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services.