Feeling helpless? Here are three ways to support the people of Afghanistan right now
The situation in Afghanistan is one of the fastest-growing humanitarian crises the world has ever seen. People are disappearing by the day. Around 18 million Afghans are in need of urgent humanitarian aid – that’s half of the country’s entire population. Thousands of people have fled since the weekend, but many more are stuck. The time for a safe evacuation is running out.
The Taliban takeover compromises the safety of journalists, translators, democracy and humanitarian workers, educators, media workers and anyone who has previously worked for a foreign organisation, NGO or military group. Furthermore, a Taliban rule poses disproportionate harm to women and girls all over the country.
The Western world cannot watch this disaster unfold and do nothing. The crisis may feel too huge and too horrifying for individuals to make a difference, but here are three things you can do to help the people of Afghanistan right now.
AFG Diaspora Hub and iNews have put together lists of aid groups* in need of funds to support their efforts in Afghanistan right now, and to support Afghan refugees and displaced people around the world.
Find a group that resonates with you and donate if you can. The lists include groups providing warm meals and hygiene kits to people in camps, doctors offering medical intervention and groups specifically advocating for the protection of women and children in Afghanistan, amongst many other important relief efforts.
(*Please do your research to ensure your donation will be used as intended)
2. CALL ON MPS TO TAKE ACTION
Contact your local MP to demand safe and legal routes for refugees from Afghanistan, and urge them to outline the protection they will offer refugees once they get here. This letter template has been created by a Twitter user with permission to use and share.
Urge your MP to challenge Priti Patel’s new Nationality and Borders Bill, which will criminalise Afghanis fleeing the Taliban today by any ‘irregular’ means. Unless officials provide safe exit routes for vulnerable people in Afghanistan, many will be forced to leave the country – often with children - by any means necessary. This will result in a group of already very traumatised people being criminally detained, with no chance of asylum in the UK.
3. SHOW YOUR SUPPORT
Show your support for Afghan protestors and campaigners by following, sharing and engaging on social media, in order to amplify Afghan voices. Allow survivors to share their stories, listen to what Afghan people are telling us they need and let them know we are behind them.
The UK has promised to take in 5000 Afghan refugees in the coming year, the majority of whom will be women and children. Many will likely be traumatised by the events that have brought them here.
How you can help on a more practical level may become apparent in the coming weeks and months through community groups and local charities. Keep an eye out for organisations near you who may need donations of food, supplies or volunteers to support their work.
If you’re unable to do any of the above, you can still show your support for the people of Afghanistan by making it known that refugees are welcome here. Today, tomorrow and for as long as they need us.