The Taliban, an extremist political group that has operated within Afghanistan for decades, has overthrown control of Afghanistan, spurring an urgent humanitarian crisis. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation on August 15, and foreign embassies began evacuating their personnel. In terrifying images from Kabul’s airport, Afghans clung to the exteriors of airplanes filled with American and British passengers that were making hasty exits.
The Taliban’s takeover comes after the end of a nearly 20-year American military occupation in the country. The sudden shift in power has had dire consequences for the people of Afghanistan, especially those who have expressed support or worked with the Afghan government and their international allies.
In particular, women working in Afghanistan are at risk due to their visibility and the antiquated and severe governance of the Taliban. Under Taliban rule, an extremist interpretation of Islam is used to impose strict laws that restrict many freedoms for women and girls.
Before the most recent developments in Afghanistan, the nation already had a global refugee population of about 2.5 million people, according to the United Nations. Human rights experts have expressed that the Taliban’s rule will lead to hundreds of thousands more people being displaced, and many seeking safety outside the borders of the nation.
It can feel overwhelming to estimate how we, as individuals, can contribute to a crisis that seems both so urgent and so large. But around the world, organizations are banding together to get resources and support to people in Afghanistan, and those who are trying to flee. Below are a eight ways to get involved and learn more.
Islamic Relief USA
Islamic Relief USA is a large organization with a long history of supplying aid to nations and peoples in crisis. Current fundraising efforts are for the widespread humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. The organization is sending water, hygiene kits, shelter, and for displaced families, and special support for orphaned children. Learn more about Islamic Relief USA’s work in Afghanistan and donate to support their efforts here.
“Islamic Relief’s country office in Afghanistan has identified the capital city of Kabul and the provinces of Balkh and Nangarhar as areas in need of immediate support,” Islamic Relief USA said in a statement to Thrillist. ‘The organization’s aid efforts are focused in these areas, where a large number of internally displaced people (IDP) are fleeing to seek refuge. We have committed $1 million to the distribution of shelter, food parcels, water, and hygiene kits to IDPs in these regions to provide for immediate and basic needs. Additionally, in response to food insecurity and impact caused by COVID-19, a $1.5 million response is currently underway, aiming to provide food support to over 90,000 Afghans.'”