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A young girl at the entrance to a classroom in eastern Kabul
Afghanistan crisis

How can I help Afghanistan?

The crisis in Afghanistan is putting the lives of thousands of people at risk. Learn what you can do to help Afghans.

Photo: Andrew Quilty/IRC

The recent transfer of power from the former-Afghan government, following escalating violence, has caused immense uncertainty across Afghanistan and has put the lives of thousands of people at risk.

Hundreds of thousands have been displaced by conflict and drought this year alone, and food shortages abound. More than 18 million need aid—a number that has doubled since 2020.

After decades of conflict, the country is experiencing one of the fastest-growing humanitarian crises in the world—one that’s compounded by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Fifty percent of Afghans in need are women and girls. But funding for humanitarian aid has fallen far short. The world must not turn its back on Afghanistan.

Here are three things you can do to help Afghanistan: 

Donate to help Afghanistan

The IRC has been responding in Afghanistan since 1988 and we will stay as long as we are needed. We are raising much-needed funds to ensure our teams can continue to deliver lifesaving aid in areas of conflict, as well as to provide emergency cash assistance and protection services for internally displaced people in Kabul.

We support displaced families with shelter, clean water, sanitation and other basic necessities. We provide cash assistance and help people find livelihood opportunities. And we create safe learning spaces and offer community-based education, among other assistance.

The IRC is consistently awarded top marks by charity watchdog groups for our efficient use of donor contributions and the effectiveness of our work. See more reasons to give to the IRC. 

Family in Afghanistan

Over 18 million people in Afghanistan require humanitarian aid, a number that has doubled since 2020 and represents nearly half the country. The IRC reaches more than a million each year with vital support.

Photo: IRC

You can also send a gift to UK based charities that are helping Afghan refugees across the country, such as: 

Migrant Help, which protects people affected by displacement and exploitation. Their services include helping asylum seekers apply for accommodation and financial support and refugee resettlement.

Afghanistan and Central Asian Association (ACAA) provides support, skills and knowledge to help communities live and prosper in the UK. They have launched a crowdfunder for Afghan refugees, which you can support here. 

Volunteer 

Afghanistan and Central Asian Association (ACAA) are also looking for volunteers, specifically with teaching, mentoring, legal and fundraising skills. They offer a range of services including English language classes, employment workshops and women’s support groups.

Donate second-hand items

Volunteer-led organisation Care4Calais works with refugees across the UK, France and Belgium. They collect second-hand clothes, shoes, phones and other essential items, with more than 100 drop off points across the country. To find your nearest drop off point, you can use this handy map: https://care4calais.org/thedropoffmap/

Welcome refugees in your community

From providing temporary housing to donating items, there are plenty of ways you can welcome Afghan refugees into your local communities:

Charity Refugees at Home is a UK charity that connects people with a spare room to refugees and asylum seekers seeking accommodation. To date, it has placed 2,468 guests with a total of 190,134 placement nights. During the Afghanistan crisis, they have seen an increase in people offering their homes and are now looking for hosts who live in a city.

Community First is working with Hampshire County Council and other partners to coordinate the collection and distribution of gift cards and donated items such as laptops and mobile phones to support those being offered temporary accommodation in Hampshire.

You can also use a Government service that coordinates offers of support with local authorities to find different ways to help refugees who have come to the UK.

Show Afghans your support

The IRC stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and our more than 1,700 staff there, most of them Afghans. One way you can show them your support is by sharing this post.

Learn more about the Afghanistan crisis

Afghanistan ranks second only to Yemen in the IRC's list of crises that are expected to deteriorate the most in 2021.

Throughout 2021 civilians bore the brunt of the conflict. The country is on pace to hit a record number of civilian deaths and injuries, with the majority being women and children.

Two children and an adolescent girl

Unless world leaders act, 2021 is on track to be the deadliest year for Afghan civilians in over a decade. Women and children are increasingly bearing the brunt of the violence.

Photo: IRC

Unless world leaders act, 2021 is on track to be the deadliest year for Afghans in over a decade. It is vital that civillians are protected, particularly women and girls. And aid workers must be able to reach those in need.

Learn more about the growing crisis in Afghanistan.

Read about the IRC’s work in Afghanistan.