As Afghanistan Faces A Humanitarian Crisis, Here’s How To Help

Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.
Tens of thousands of civilians in Afghanistan have now fled their homes after Taliban fighters seized control of major towns across the country, culminating in the occupation of the capital, Kabul, on 15th August. The actions come just weeks after the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan for the first time in 20 years.
Over the last 48 hours, desperate scenes from Kabul airport show scores of people trying to leave the country, which the ABC reports has led to the deaths of seven people, including three who tried to hang on to the underside of an aircraft. President Ashraf Ghani has also fled, with the Taliban reportedly taking full control of the country’s security and traffic.
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In response, Australia has deployed 250 defence force personnel to help evacuate Australians and Afghans who worked alongside the ADF from Afghanistan, according to the Guardian. Pressure has been building on the government to offer asylum for those fleeing the country. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia won't be able to rescue all Afghans who worked alongside the military. The ABC reports around 600 people will be evacuated out of Kabul if the governent's rescue mission goes to plan, including 100 Australian permanent residents and citizens, 100 of their family members, and 300 to 400 locally engaged employees.
With those in Kabul and the surrounding areas now left without homes, food, water or vital supplies, Afghanistan needs help more than ever before. Here are a few ways to directly make an impact.
In recent weeks, WAW has been organising refuge, resources and aid for both families and staff who are being forced to leave their homes in Afghanistan. As an organisation, they provide education and protection to Afghani women and children across multiple countries. WAW's current focus is to provide help for displaced mothers and children, with a recent statement saying: "We are committed to continue defending the women, children, families, and staff who rely on us."
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The UN Refugee Agency for Australia for UNHCR is is currently escalating efforts in Afghanistan as the conflict worsens. With children in urgent need of food and medical supplies, Unicef is working to provide essential items to families. According to its website, all donations will be spent on supplying emergency shelter, food, health, water and sanitation support.
Currently, the ICRC has a team of 1,800 international and national staff providing assistance to those in Afghanistan. The organisation is partnering with the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) to evacuate injured people and transport the bodies of those who have lost their lives in the conflict. According to the ICRC's website: "Since 1 August, 4,042 patients wounded by weapons have been treated at 15 ICRC-supported health facilities, an indication of the intensity of the recent violence."
Afghanaid is calling for support for families who have been affected by the conflict. According to the website, the organisation is working to reopen offices in order to support rural communities, alongside offering wider support to families throughout the country. Donations are currently being spent on providing financial support, kitchen kits, hygiene kits, essential housing items and emergency food parcels.
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Primarily working to establish small, craft-based businesses across the Middle East, Turquoise Mountain is currently fundraising to help those caught in the conflict locally in Afghanistan. According to the organisation, they are using their established community networks to distribute financial aid to those in need, including thousands of students, families, staff and artisans.
And, of course, use your voice
While donations are essential, it's also important to register your demand for an action plan for Afghan refugees in Australia. There are a number of petitions you can sign, including this Change.org one asking the Australian government to accelerate an asylum plan for Afghan people. Similarly, this letter template helps to inform your local MP of your desire to welcome refugees and create a safe space for those fleeing Afghanistan. 

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