Many of us will have watched the dramatic scenes in Afghanistan over the last week, as the Taliban has taken control of the country and tens of thousands of Afghan citizens have sought to flee the country.
The Government has announced that around 20,000 people will be admitted to the UK from Afghanistan over the next few years, with priority to those “most at risk of human rights abuses and dehumanising treatment by the Taliban.”
This is thought to apply specifically to women and girls, religious and other minorities, and Afghans who worked with the British and Americans forces in roles such as translators, as well as soldiers from the previous government’s army.
It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of stories which have such a global reach and take place many thousands of miles away, but there are things that you can do to help the people of Afghanistan, such as donate to charities working in the field.
There are many charities working on the ground in the country, despite the unrest and military actions of recent weeks. Emergency relief charities are asking for donations, with the International Rescue Committee trying to raise $10 million to continue delivering lifesaving aid: https://www.rescue-uk.org/
The British Red Cross is also raising funds to support their work. “We are committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan and have been working on the ground for 30 years. We will not stop now. In a spirit of neutrality, independence and impartiality, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement work with all communities and in all regions to help reach and assist those most vulnerable.” Money donated will provide Afghans with basic medical supplies and medicines as well as food, shelter and water: https://www.redcross.org.uk/
Afghanaid provides kitchen kits that allow people who have left their homes to cook and safely store food, plus solar-powered lamps, stoves and gas cylinders. “We are working hard to ensure the safety of our staff and where possible have reopened a number of our offices to continue our work in supporting remote rural communities. We are delivering emergency support to families whose lives have been destroyed or uprooted by the conflict”: https://www.afghanaid.org.uk/
There is especial concern about the plight of women and girls in the country, as the last time the Taliban were in power they forced them to wear burqas and refused to let women work. Charity Women for Women International is “confident” that community and religious leaders will allow it to continue operating. “We are committed to finding practical, safe, solutions so that we can continue to operate and make a positive difference for the people of Afghanistan who have already suffered far too much and who deserve peace and prosperity”: https://womenforwomen.org.uk/