Unaccompanied Afghan children clapped along to a soldier playing the ukulele at a remote U.S. air base in Germany. Some kids played catch. Others played with whatever they could find.
Ramstein Air Base has become their temporary home along with hundreds of other children who have been separated from their parents, after a chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Kabul.
UNICEF said it has registered around 300 separated and unaccompanied children linked to the evacuations from Afghanistan, with some ending up in Germany and Qatar, and officials are scrambling to reunite them with their families.
One U.S. State Department official said some cases can be solved “quickly” if the parents got onto a different plane or are already at Ramstein or in the U.S., adding that cell phones help speed up reunification.
BLINKEN: "Thank you for everything that you've been doing."
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed the staff at the base's so-called "Youth Pod" to learn more about the reunification efforts.
STAFF MEMBER: "It's some extraordinary children here, who I think will find a great place in America and we'll count on your continued engagement on bringing families together."
Blinken also met with a small group of newly-arrived Afghan refugees at Ramstein Air Base, where some 12,000 evacuees are still living in tents and in another U.S. barracks nearby. The rest have been moved on to the United States or other safe locations.