(CNN) — A young child died after arriving in the United States on an Afghan evacuee flight from Germany on Tuesday, the Defense Department confirmed Thursday.
The young boy was traveling from Ramstein Air Base in Germany in a C-17 when the crew was notified that he was “unresponsive”.
The crew requested medical assistance and a priority arrival route, US Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell said in a statement.
“The flight landed in Philadelphia around 9:15 EDT. Emergency medical technicians and an interpreter met on the plane, and the boy and father were transported to a children’s hospital in Philadelphia, where the boy was pronounced dead. Our thoughts and prayers are with parents and family, “the statement said.
The Philadelphia airport has received a total of 3,654 evacuees from Afghanistan, according to data shared by the city.
After 20 years, the US left Afghanistan on Monday, ending the longest war in its history. President Biden said the end of the war in Afghanistan also marks the end of an era of US military efforts “to remake other countries.”
Details on the arrival of children from Afghanistan
This Thursday, for its part, the State Department referred to the arrival of unaccompanied children from Afghanistan.
Agency spokesman Ned Price said “there are very few Afghan children currently arriving in the United States who are not accompanied by a known adult.”
“As soon as a minor child is identified without any trusted adult, we immediately begin working to reunite these identified children with their families and loved ones,” Price said at a news conference.
CNN reported earlier this week that at least 34 Afghan children who were evacuated arrived in the United States without parents, according to an administration official, although some have already been reunited with their relatives in the country.
“Once they arrive in the continental United States, normal protocols apply for unaccompanied children. And in those cases, CBP (Customs and Border Protection) or another federal agency refers them to the Office of Resettlement of Refugees from HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) and then HHS works to find the extended family or other appropriate sponsors to care for the child using established sponsor screening procedures, “he said.
Children who do not go to an appropriate caregiver immediately are placed in facilities “appropriate” for their age and culturally, Price said.
“Abroad, unaccompanied minors are referred to international organizations to assess their best interests and promote family reunification whenever possible,” Price said. UNICEF is among those organizations
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism