Watching and waiting: The Maritimes prepare for arrival of Afghan refugees
Canada is vowing to take in 20,000 Afghan refugees who are fleeing the Taliban, an even more pressing issue in the wake of Thursday's deadly attack.
While it isn’t known how many refugees are coming to the Maritimes or when, if they do arrive, they will need help to adjust.
The peace of being on the ocean doesn’t bring one father peace of mind.
Mujeeb Ur Rehman’s sisters, brothers and daughter are in Afghanistan.
He says it’s been difficult to watch as the Taliban takes over and chaos and violence erupt.
This week, as thousands tried to flee through evacuation flights, suicide bombers struck the airport.
And as Canada promises to resettle 20,000 Afghans, Rehman is scrambling to apply for his family to get here.
"There is a phone number, personally I called maybe more than two to 300 times. But I wasn’t able to talk to anybody," says Rehman.
The Afghan Society of Halifax is also trying to bring people here, but it's unclear whether any Afghans will end up in the Maritimes.
If they do, society president Gulmakai M. Sarvar is ready.
"For sure, we do as much as we could to help them," says Sarvar.
She says Canadians with no connection to Afghanistan can also help.
"Support them emotional(ly), networking, connecting with any departments they need for help, for clothing, for services, for healthcare," she says.
Ottawa lists ways to help on its immigration website. One is to sponsor a refugee.
"That would be appreciated. Also, provide a temporary living place and for example -transportation and some food," says Rehman.
In a statement, the province confirmed that some Afghan refugees coming to Canada through the federal government's special resettlement program will end up in Nova Scotia.
"This work is being led and coordinated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada," reads the statement.
"Nova Scotians have a proud history of welcoming refugees and the province stands ready to work with IRCC and settlement organizations on this resettlement when the refugees arrive."
CTV Atlantic did reach out to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to ask about numbers as well as several resettlement agencies across the Maritimes but did not hear back.