Afghanistan is going through a humanitarian crisis that has left thousands of men, women and children displaced from their homes.
We’ve all been devastated by the images of desperate people trying to flee the country in the last few days, and no doubt want to help but are feeling somewhat powerless to do so.
Now, with the UK Government announcing plans to resettle 20,000 refugees under a new resettlement programme, here’s how you make a positive impact.
- Give to Charity Efforts
This may seem like the most obvious choice, but it is also the more immediate and easiest way to actively support these people.
Many people in Afghanistan, including British nationals and local allies, are being evacuated due to fear for their lives but many more remain in the country fearing for their lives, so it’s vital to continue supporting rescue efforts on the ground.
Charities such as Afghan Aid and the UNHCR are providing support and shelter to people in the country.
There are also charities throughout the UK, like Choose Love that have been specifically launched in response to the crisis and aim to provide aid and services to Afghan refugees.
These services range from simple hot meals, to mental health support and legal advice, with the charities working with a network of Afghan-led organisations in the country.
- Donate Clothing and Essential Items
It’s not only money that is needed either, with more charities in the UK calling for clothes, shoes, phones and other essential items in preparation for refugees coming into the country in the coming months.
Charities such as the Manchester branch of Care4Calais have set up drop off points to donate items specifically for the Afghan refugees, many of whom are without spare clothes or toiletries.
Donations such as these are vital to ensure that the evacuees feel as comfortable and welcomed as possible upon entrance to the UK.
- Amplify Afghan Voices
Find and highlight the experiences and voices of Afghan people and their diaspora via social media channels as well as newspaper articles.
Educating people on the experiences of those who have been forced to flee their homes is one of the most successful ways to change minds and encourage more people to start fighting for refugee rights.
It is also particularly important to amplify the voices of the women in Afghanistan due to the threat to women’s rights in the country.
- Educate Yourself
Learning a bit about the history of the country and the reason behind the conflict from a trusted source can give you a better understanding as to what is happening now.
This also means that you can help educate friends and family members, or point them in the right direction to educate themselves.
- Call on your Local MP
The government has been criticised for the target number of people receiving sanctuary, 20,000, with organisations such as Asylum Welcome calling on the government to resettle more people in the short term.
For this, extra money must be given to councils for them to provide the vital services needed for refugees to settle.
Writing to your MP increases the likelihood of this happening, as they can put more pressure on the government for more funds and to do more in their power to help the Afghan refugees.