About the Emergency
Following the Taliban’s takeover in August 2021, economic and political instability in Afghanistan has resulted in further deterioration of basic service provision across the country, increased prices for fuel and staple foods, reduced household purchasing power, and exacerbated vulnerabilities that constrain the ability of Afghan households to meet their basic needs. More than two-thirds of the country’s population—approximately 29 million people—are in need of humanitarian assistance. Moreover, recurrent climatic shocks—including drought, earthquakes, and floods—continue to result in humanitarian need and increase the vulnerability of at-risk populations throughout Afghanistan. In October 2023, four magnitude 6.3 earthquakes struck northwestern Afghanistan’s Herat Province, resulting in widespread humanitarian need within the province.
Taliban restrictions—including the December 2022 and April 2023 directives barring Afghan women from working for non-governmental organizations and UN agencies—continue to obstruct aid operations throughout the country and limit women and girls’ access to humanitarian assistance.
USAID remains committed to supporting partners and providing humanitarian assistance in areas and sectors where female aid workers are able to participate. With USAID support, humanitarian partners are providing emergency food and nutrition assistance, health care services, and livelihoods, multipurpose cash, protection, shelter, livelihoods, and water, sanitation, and hygiene support to at-risk populations—including earthquake and other disaster-affected individuals—countrywide. More information on the U.S. government’s humanitarian activities in Afghanistan can be found here.
How You Can Help
Send cash donations to reputable relief organizations working on the ground. They can make the most difference and save the most lives. Detailed information on how relief organizations use donations can be found at: GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and the Better Business Bureau. Below are organizations responding in Afghanistan.
- Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A.
- Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
- Concern Worldwide US
- Heartland Alliance International (HAI)
- International Medical Corps
- International Rescue Committee
- Islamic Relief USA
- Life for Relief and Development
- Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
- Women for Women International
- World Vision
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in four Americans volunteered for an organization at least once during the course of a year. However, there are a few things that would-be disaster volunteers should stop and consider before getting on a plane. To help Afghan people in the United States, here’s one resource to check out. The CDC Foundation is also helping Afghans in the U.S.
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