After 20 years of war, hundreds of thousands of deaths, and approximately a trillion dollars spent, the Taliban took control of the remaining unclaimed city of Afghanistan – the capital, Kabul – this week. The militant group seized the capital in the early hours of Tuesday morning Australian time, forming a transitional government as the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, fled the country.
Thousands of Afghan people are now desperately trying to get out of the country, and the footage flooding through into Western media is devastating and renders us feeling helpless. But there’s ways to help the people on the ground who are now trying to seek asylum outside of the country’s borders.
How To Help People In Afghanistan From Australia
If you are in a position to financially donate, there are many humanitarian relief groups based outside of Afghanistan that are actively working to bring aid to people on the ground. Here are just a few of those groups, where they’re based, and what they’re doing so you can check them out and determine where you want your money to go.
- International Committee of the Red Cross – Geneva, Switzerland: has been treating people wounded in conflict at 15 health facilities across the country, with over 4000 people treated since August alone.
- Afghanaid – London, UK: Providing emergency services in Afghanistan, including support in remote rural communities and those who have lost homes and livelihoods as a result of the conflict.
- Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS) – Sydney, Australia: Provide free legal advice, assistance, and representation for those seeking asylum in Australia, including the 4427 refugees currently in Australia from Afghanistan who are only on temporary protection visas.
- Baba Mazari Foundation – Adelaide, Australia: A volunteer-run not-for-profit that help impoverished families, child labourers, and disadvantaged students in Afghanistan, as well as providing emergency relief and medical aid to those in crisis-affected areas. BMF has also launched an online fundraiser specifically for emergency aid for victims of the Taliban’s attacks.
- Save The Children – Connecticut, USA: A long-standing charity focused on saving the lives of children around the world, and is currently working to provide emergency aid and support for nearly 10 million children across Afghanistan who have been forced to flee.
That’s just a small slice of the number of groups, organisations, and NFPs who are working tirelessly to help people in Afghanistan in this humanitarian crisis and mass displacement.
There are so many more places you can throw your money and support behind, and this master thread has plenty more registered charities you can comb through and support – especially lesser-known ones that directly assist Afghan citizens.
If you’re reading about Afghanistan and feeling sick and helpless about the unimaginable situation people there are facing, now would be a good moment to donate to a refugee-supporting charity. I’m putting together some links. Take your pick. Give what your can.
— Kate (@KateOfHysteria) August 16, 2021
Contacting your local member of parliament to put pressure on them and the Australian government to accept and support refugees coming over from Afghanistan, and those who are already in the country.
In an opinion piece by human rights lawyer Arif Hussein and Zaki Haidari – a refugee from Afghanistan – published in the Sydney Morning Herald, some important things that the Australian government could do right now were highlighted.
“Right now, our government could announce and implement a one-off humanitarian intake of most vulnerable Afghans,” the pair wrote.
“Especially minority groups such as the Hazaras and women and children who have been displaced by the war and are seeking refuge on the streets of Kabul.”
They also stressed that Australia should grant permanent protection to all Afghan refugees currently on temporary protection visas (that’s 4427 people, as calculated by RACS), allowing them to “finally restart their lives without the prospect of being returned to Afghanistan.”
It’s these demands that we then take to the people that represent our communities in federal politics. RACS has compiled a very helpful email template to copy, paste, and email to your local MPs – and if you don’t know who they are, you can find who represents you at a federal level right here.
…With What You Read
In a crisis like this, there’s so much information flying around and it can feel super overwhelming – we get it! It’s hard to sift through all the hot takes and opinions being published left, right, and centre, and focus on reporting that you can rely on to be necessary and not influenced by an agenda.
Reading coverage and commentary from Afghan people, journalists and activists is crucial to get a first-hand perspective of life through those who are directly affected and oppressed by living through this ongoing conflict.
Per the BBC, Afghan journalists – particularly women – are currently fearing for their lives as identifiable people in the public eye, so it’s more important than ever to pay attention to their experiences and let that drive our desire to help.