An up-close photo from Canva user CT757fan of a map showing Afghanistan and Kabul, its capital city.
Advocacy & News

How You Can Help Support Afghan Refugees

As desperate scenes coming from Kabul Airport play out on the news and social media; terrified Afghan civilians are still trying to find refuge from the Taliban after they seized sweeping control over Afghanistan when U.S. troops began withdrawing from the country after a two-decade war.

With a fast-approaching deadline for the total removal of American military personnel set for August 31st; the Biden administration appears to have been caught off guard as the Taliban took mere days to overrun the country and collapse the Western-backed Afghan government. This is despite some Afghanistan-based U.S. diplomats reportedly writing to the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken in mid-July that a Taliban takeover was happening far quicker than expected; and that efforts to evacuate American citizens and Afghan allies should be accelerated.

Many Afghan journalists, interpreters and others who aided the U.S. and its allies during this war are at risk of violent retaliation from the Taliban. Those who supported/worked with America, Canada, UK, Germany, etc, along with their families, are in immediate danger; not to mention ordinary Afghan citizens who will be brutalized under the Taliban regime (especially women, girls and LGBTQ+ people).

Background: A photo from Canva user mbrand85 of a skyline cityscape of Kabul, Afghanistan. Foreground: A translucent grey circle with ‘How You Can Help Support Afghan Refugees’ written in white capital letters.

With evacuations by the United States set to continue right up until the deadline; there’s still much help we can offer to those fleeing and those who’ve already been brought to safety. Here’s how you can support Afghan refugees …

  • If you are/know of any LGBTQ+ Afghans who need urgent help getting out of Afghanistan, contact the following organisations (which you can also donate to): Immigration Equality, an LGBTQ+ immigrant rights organization and/or Rainbow Railroad, a global not-for-profit organization that helps LGTBQ+ people facing persecution.
  • Donate to Women For Women International who provide assistance to women that have survived war and conflict in eight countries; including vital work helping Afghan women. Additionally, there’s an open letter you can sign urging the Biden administration to ensure women from Afghanistan are supported and protected.
  • The International Rescue Committee has been on the ground in Afghanistan for over 30 years and provides critical aid in conflict areas. They urgently need donations to facilitate the continuation of the work they do.
  • Donate to International Medical Corps who maintain teams on the ground in Afghanistan and provide crucial emergency healthcare/lifesaving medical services.
  • Save The Children are appealing for donations/help supporting Afghan children and their families who are either stuck in Afghanistan or recently arrived to settle in the United States.
  • United Nations Refugee Agency needs donations to assist with its work to defend the most vulnerable, newly displaced Afghans with life-saving shelter, food, water and core relief items.
A photo by Canva user ArmyAmber of a group of Afghan women wearing blue burqas which covers the entire body and face and some teenage girls wearing red niqabs which cover the face showing only their eyes.
Afghan women and girls – photo by ArmyAmber
  • Donate to No One Left Behind, a U.S. non-profit that helps secure Afghan interpreters; who worked alongside the American military, safely into the United States using a Special Immigrant Visa program.
  • The UK government has a web portal for British residents to donate goods and/or offer housing/fostering to refugees in their local area.
  • A British humanitarian and development organisation, AfghanAid is asking for donations to support their work providing urgent housing and lifesaving assistance to Afghan men, women and children.
  • The Canadian government has a system set up for residents to volunteer time and/or supply goods, food and money to aid refugees undergoing resettlement. If you’re living in Canada and can help, email afghaniresettlement@ccislive.ca to find out more. 
  • Islamic Relief Canada is in Afghanistan distributing food and shelter supplies, medical/hygiene kits and water storage kits to those caught up in areas of conflict.

It can be challenging to know how best to support those trying to flee a country under increasingly oppressive control; or those who have managed to escape and resettle as refugees for a renewed life abroad. This list is a starting point, and I hope you utilize the information as best you can because your help is needed — you will make a difference. If you know of any other groups/organisations that are not on this list or are particular to your country/region, please include them in a comment.

Did you find this list useful? Have you been able to assist Afghan refugees from where you live? What are your thoughts on the unfolding situation in Afghanistan?


Further Info:

A Timeline Of Afghanistan’s Four Decades Of Instability – NPR

A Historical Timeline of Afghanistan – PBS

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54 thoughts on “How You Can Help Support Afghan Refugees”

  1. It’s so awful what’s happening and I know so many who want to help. Some Afghans arrived in Dubai this week and we organised a drive to collect necessities for them. Of course its not nearly enough to do but it’s a start. Thank you for sharing this post and sharing awareness x

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    1. It’s fantastic that you helped organise getting necessities for those arriving in your area — it will no doubt bring a lot of comfort and make people feel welcome. I cannot begin to understand the awfulness and fear they went through to get where they are so it’s wonderful to read that they are meeting some kindness and care. Thanks so much for reading!

      Like

  2. It’s an absolute shit show with this withdrawal from Afghanistan. It looks like no forward thinking or planning was done when this crime against humanity started. Western leaders should be ashamed of what’s happening. It’s also a shame that charities have to step in to fill the void our governments should be filling

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I 100% agree — I cannot believe this was really a surprise to the Biden administration not can I understand why they didn’t start evacuating people well before it got to this stage. The idea of leaving people behind who helped Western forces; and who will face certain torture and death (including their families), is unconscionable. Thank you so much for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What is happening is so awful and I cannot believe what people are having to live through. This is a very informative post about how we can help. Thank you for sharing this information.

    Lauren – bournemouthgirl

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    1. A life under Taliban rule will be no life at all, especially for women, girls, people with disabilities and those in LQBTQ+ communities. It’s desperate so I hope you can share how to help them and donate much needed goods and support if you can. Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s amazing that you are using your blog to raise awareness! I stopped reading the news when Covid was first announced so I haven’t read much on the Afghan crisis but I’ll definitely read the further info websites. It must be so horrible, I know how privileged I am to have a house, clothes and food/water available whenever I need it. I wish it were available for everyone

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    1. The news coming out of Afghanistan is desperately sad but there is much work going on to assist those who need protection (and ultimately evacuation to safety) — but more support is needed and we can do that through the links in this post. I hope you can find somewhere to donate money/time/food, etc to; thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What is happening in Afghanistan is awful! I think that the American government was totally humiliated with this. The people who were unlucky to be there are the ones who will suffer.
    It is really terrible and to me that I live in Greece the refugees is a non stopping case the last many years….now it is Afghanistan, before that was Syria, the Kurdish people before that and the story goes on and on…
    Politicians play their games on innocent people’s backs. The human pain has no ending.
    Thank you for sharing information on what we can do to help!

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    1. I agree — this is not how it should have ended because it ultimately doesn’t actually end anything. There are no ‘winners’ and the pain continues, which I feel could have been somewhat reduced had withdrawal been handled better. I hope citizens around the world help the charities and organizations highlighted in this post — there is much support that’s needed right now and in the coming days, weeks, months, etc. Thank you so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It is still so hard to believe what is happening in Afghanistan but thank you for this. Several humanitarian rescues are going on around social media: ex-pilot, army veterans to organisers on the ground doing their best to support those who find themselves in extreme difficulties. Thank you again for sharing this list – I have been doing what I can with United nations.

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    1. It’s good to learn about so many individuals and groups doing what they can to help people on the ground. I hope that this work continues beyond the U.S. withdrawal and more people are brought to safety. Thank you for supporting the work of the United Nations.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. These are great suggestions – I love that you’ve included local options for a variety of countries too. The situation in Afghanistan is so deeply heartbreaking and I just don’t understand how the governments aren’t doing more to help. I donated to UNHCR, but we’re back in lockdown so unfortunately there’s not much more we can do atm 😦 x

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  8. I’ve been watching on the news with horror and it knocks me sick what has happened! This is absolutely abhorrent what the poor Afghani’s are facing. Luckily a few have just landed in Australia to have a free new life. Imagine toppling the Taliban, then working with a western country, only for the evil regime to come back into power! So many people will be left behind and they will be persecuted. It’s just sickening 😦 I feel for everyone there, but mostly the women and young girls. I dread to think about what is going to happen to them! I will definitely donate when I can.

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    1. The quickness with which the Taliban gained control again supposedly was unforeseen but I think this was how it was always going to play out. Evacuations of those who helped Western forces should have been the first to get help and all visas honoured. It’s awful to think about what will happen to Afghan citizens from here on out. Thank you for reading.

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    1. I have a feeling that once the deadline is reached things will escalate for those living under Taliban rule (and now the threats from Isis-K) — so help is needed now more than ever. Hopefully the charities and orgs doing all this vital work will get support from readers of this post and beyond.

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  9. What’s happening in Afghanistan is truly heartbreaking, I can’t believe it’s happening in this day and age. Thank you for sharing these resources, I will be sharing this post so it can reach more people.

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  10. Thank you so much for putting this together. What’s happening over there is just awful. I cant believe people can be treated like that in this day and age.

    Corinne x

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  11. This situation is breaking my heart on so many levels! Thank you for writing this. It’s all happening so fast that we tend to get caught in the news rather than think of ways in which we can help. It is calming to see information in a list like this. I’m going to share it!

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  12. This exit has truly been shocking, the fact that the Taliban took control so quickly and the events that soon followed have all been horrendous, I can’t believe that their intelligence was so lacking that they saw none of this coming and failed to plan for any of this. Whether that was oversight or plain negligence, it definitely feels like something is seriously missing here from the administration. Thank you for sharing this list of resources, it’s very helpful. Even though it should not be down to charities to clean up this mess that seemingly could have been avoided with a better exit strategy.

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    1. The Taliban taking control again in such a fast, organized should not have been a surprise to the Biden administration as, like you said, it shows a lack of understanding/intelligence. I think anyone could have guessed that once a force leaves an area, having not defeated the ideology or groupings of the Taliban, that it would all start up again once they left. I can only hope that the support needed to get people to safety continues. Thanks so much for reading!

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    1. It’s good to know that these charities and orgs that really need these donations will make good use of them and that we’re directly helping their efforts — but it really doesn’t feel like enough. I cannot begin to imagine the trauma those impacted are having to deal with. Thanks for reading!

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  13. A very informative post. I can’t imagine having to flee my own country. I hope those refugees that have made it out safely know that there are many others trying their best to help them and their families in any way they can as well as aid in getting more Afghani’s out to safer countries. Thank you for sharing some Canadian links in this post.

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  14. This post is really important and it’s nice to see that there are multiple ways people can help depending on their own situation. I think it’s horrible what is going on and I can’t imagine going through what they are so doing what I can to help is really important to me. Thank you for sharing this informative post! Em x

    Like

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s such a heartbreaking situation. I’d also add that, depending on where you live, you might be able to help in your local area with refugee centers. They always need donations and volunteers. Again, not every state is taking refugees, but for those that are, that’s something to look into.

    Like

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